Radiologic technologists, also referred to as radiographers, produce x-ray films (radiographs) of parts of the human body for use in diagnosing patients' medical problems. They also involved in administering nonradioactive materials into patients' blood streams for diagnostic purposes.
A radiographer is part of a multi-disciplinary approach to caring for patients, working with doctors, nurses and other medical technologists.
Radiologic Technology is a profession of choice, challenge, growth and satisfaction. Opportunities for advancement within the field include:
- Advance Technologies
- Computer Tomography
- Nuclear Medicine Technology
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging
- Diagnostic Medical Sonography
- Cardiac Catheterization
- Supervision & Management
- Education & Research
- Radiation Therapy
Radiologic technologists work a full 40-hour week, sometimes including evening, weekend, or on-call hours. Opportunities for part-time and shift work, as well as flexible scheduling, are also available.
Technologists operate diagnostic machines in designated clinical areas of the hospital, as well as some physician offices and diagnostic image centers. They may also do some procedures at patients' bedsides. Some may assist patients by traveling to them in large vans specially equipped with diagnostic equipment.
Radiologic technologists must, at all times, comply with safety regulations protecting themselves, their patients and coworkers from unnecessary exposure. Potential risk is minimized by the use of shielding and monitoring devices, lead aprons and gloves.
Duties and Responsibilities
- follow physicians' orders precisely
- explain diagnostic procedure to patients
- secure exposed areas with radiation protection devices
- prepare diagnostic machines
- accurately position the patient
- develop film
Experienced radiologoic technologists may work with computerized tomography scanners or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines.
- keep patient records
- adjust and maintain equipment
- prepare work schedules
- evaluate equipment purchases
- in some cases, manage a radiology department.
Radiologic Technology offers competitive salaries within the highly rewarding health care industry.
Salary range (full-time)
In the year 2000, the median annual earnings for a radiologic technologist was $36,000. Radiologists working in hospitals earned an average of $36,280, while those working in medical and dental laboratories earned an average of $39,400.
The field of Radiologic Technology is rapidly growing and employment of technologists is expected to rise through the year 2010. Most of the available jobs continue to be in hospitals; however a greater number of new positions are opening up in physician offices and clinics, including diagnostic imaging centers. This new growth is a result of an increase in the elderly population, who are the primary users of diagnostic procedures.