Radiology Technician in Healthcare Industry

Also known in the medical field as a radiographer, x-ray technician, or radiologic technologist, a radiology technician plays a key role in helping evaluate patients by capturing radiologic images which will help doctors make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment procedure. These healthcare professionals use skills and expertise in a wide variety of diagnostic imaging procedures such as computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), X-ray, mammography, fluoroscopy, and nuclear medicine in order to diagnose patients. As a radiology technologist, your main duties are the operation of the imaging equipment and guiding patients throughout the imaging procedure.

Since many of the imaging procedures you will be performing involves the use of radiation, it is also your responsibility to ensure that patients will be safe from overexposure. For example, during x-ray scans, the area of the body that will not be scanned will be protected with lead shields. Also, during the procedure, the radiology technologist will have to ensure the patient is in the proper position to get the best image possible. The images that you will be capturing will be based on the instructions of the physician and you will be working together in order to obtain the correct images that will be used for diagnosis. Other duties include updating of patient records, preparing of work schedules, and equipment maintenance.

The primary requirement in order to become a radiology tech is to graduate from a formal training program in radiologic technology. Admission to any radiologic technology program requires a high school diploma or an equivalent GED. Some radiology technician schools may also require passing an entrance exam and that you are cleared of any criminal records. On your way to becoming a radiology tech, you may enroll in a formal training program which can earn you a certificate, an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree. Although the minimum degree you must earn for employment is an associate’s degree, more employers now prefer their applicants to have at least a bachelor’s degree.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), radiology jobs will experience a significant growth rate of 28 percent through the year 2020. One of the factors contributing to this increase is the growing population of the elderly, who are more susceptible to a wide range of medical conditions which require the use of diagnostic imaging. And even though many employment opportunities can be found in hospitals, more and more jobs are now becoming available in doctor’s offices and imaging facilities. Better employment opportunities await radiographers who have earned excellent credentials.

In the United States, the average radiology salary is about $48,619 according to the data from the website. Like any other careers, there are numerous factors which can affect how much a radiographer earns. Among them include educational background, work experience, certification/licensure, and geographical location of employment. For this reason, you must strive to get the best training possible and become certified in a particular area of radiography. What’s really great about being a radiographer is that you have a wide range of specialties to choose from and therefore you also have numerous ways of advancing your career.