Did you know that there are around 194,000 radiologic technologists in the United States? If you are looking at going down this career path and are wondering “what does a radiologic technologist do?” you are in the right place. We are going to go over the ins and outs of being in this radiology career.
What Does a Radiologic Technologist Do?
Radiologic technicians use the same machines that take radiologic images like MRI machines, X-ray machines, and CT scanners. A radiologic technician is under the supervision of a radiologist and they help this physician with specific tasks.
The technician has different tasks to complete such as taking CAT scans, taking X-rays, setting up MRI machines, operating MRI machines, and helping patients throughout the day. The techs will perform different duties based on what the radiologist request from them during the day.
What a radiologic technologist does not do is make any judgments after seeing the images they take. Their only job is to report the images to the radiologist, who then analyzes the data. The technician will know whether an image is high-quality and good enough for the radiologist to use or not.
The radiologic technologist is also responsible for preparing the patients for the procedure. They have the patients take off all of their jewelry before and they warn patients about any potential risks and dangers to their health with the procedure that will be done.
Once you have your radiologic technology license you will be working in hospitals, community colleges, or medical offices. Your role will be a very important part of the medical support staff because you will help keep hospitals and offices functioning throughout the day.
Difference Between a Radiologist and a Radiologic Technologist?
Although both a radiology technologist and a radiologist work in a clinical and medical setting and they are both health-care professionals they have different roles. A radiologist is a physician and they will interpret diagnostic tests and have the power to give a course of treatment to a patient.
A radiologist begins their education with a bachelor’s degree and then they go to medical school. They then complete a two-year internship and then take residency in radiology between four to seven years.
A radiologic technologist, on the other hand, is the person that performs the image tests on the patients. Once they have the images they hand them over to the radiologist to make their interpretation of the images. A radiologic technologist has to have either an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree along with a license, before they can practice.
Depending on which state you live in, you may or may not need a certification. Keep in mind that there are many employers that will ask for a certification even if it is not required in your state. Being certified will always give you an advantage over someone that does not have a certificate.
If you are not sure where to get your certification, you can go through the ARRT (American Registry of Radiologic Technologists). You will just have to meet their education and ethics requirements first and then you will have to pass a certification exam.
You will need to have at least an associate degree in radiography from an accredited educational program. You also can’t have a felony or misdemeanor convictions.
If you learn best hands-on, you can become an MRI technician after receiving on the job training and attending an accredited MRI technology certificate program.
There are plenty of myths about this career in radiology and we want to make sure that you are aware of them from the start. A common misconception is that all they do is take x-rays.
This is simply not true because there are plenty of specialties to choose from. Technologists can choose between bone density, sonography, mammography, and others as their main specialty.
Another misconception is that their job ends after they capture the image they need. Although they do take the image and hand it to the radiologist they also analyze the images and use them to help the physician when it comes to diagnosing and preparing the treatment course for a patient.
One of the main duties of a radiologic technologist is to interact with patients by taking their medical history and preparing for the test. If the patient has any questions about the procedure the technologist can address these questions and concerns. When a patient is anxious about the exam a technologist has the training to help soothe them and calm them before the procedure.
The other main duty is to go through the procedure and take high-quality images that can be examined and analyzed without guessing what the picture is. The technologist has the training to operate the equipment and produce these images. They are in charge of positioning the patient in the appropriate position and angle to capture the best picture.
If the patient is in pain then the technologist has to help obtain the images needed without causing extra stress.
Feeling Like a Radiologic Technologist Pro?
Now that you know more about “what does a radiologic technologist do?” you can make an informed decision whether or not this is the career path for you. If you still feel that this is the route you want to take then follow your dreams and find the perfect school for you.
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