You will likely encounter more popular professional names like nurses and doctors in the healthcare industry. However, radiologic technologists are also an essential part of the healthcare team, and it requires 2 to 4 years of training courses to qualify for the post.
Although they work together, radiologists and radiologic technicians are entirely different. Radiologists are the physicians who take images of patients to diagnose various diseases, while the latter act as the radiologists’ technical assistants.
Radiologic technologists, also known as radiographers, diagnostic radiographers, and medical radiation technologists, perform all kinds of medical tasks with patients, mainly dealing with imaging of human anatomy.
The most common job that you will see radiologic technologists do is to perform routine tasks such as taking an x-ray for a Patient under a doctor’s order. Likewise, the technician handles other diagnostic imaging procedures, such as CT scans.
If you want to start a career in radiologic technology, you need a good mix of special soft and hard skills. Since it is a job that requires you to interact with patients, you need good communication skills and a knack for making people feel comfortable around potentially hazardous equipment.
What Does A Radiologic Technologist Do?
Radiographers rarely work alone and usually function in a hospital setting where the doctor will instruct the patient to get some kind of health imagining procedure done. This is where the radiographers come into the picture. They ensure these images are taken properly and clearly so the doctor can correctly diagnose the patient and start treatments.
Radiographers are the ones who make sure that the images are correctly taken, they communicate with the patient to make sure that they are comfortable, and they are also the ones who operate these machines and ensure that all safety standards are followed and that there is minimum radiation.
Typically, you will see that radiographers work in hospitals and health care centers along with doctors who aid in the diagnostic part of the treatment. Radiographers can work with both adults and young children, including babies.
Radiologic technicians do not interpret the different images but make sure that these images are accurately taken and clear enough for the doctor to read and analyze.
These technologists are also responsible for handling and maintaining all the imagining pieces of equipment and ensuring they are all in good working condition.
Management of safety standards when dealing with such complex equipment is also one of the responsibilities of radiologic technologists. Technologists work very closely with patients, so you must also have some basic soft skills to interact and communicate appropriately with them. It is also their job to make sure that these patients are comfortable throughout the different procedures they will go through.
Some of the most common tasks you will have to do as a radiographer are:
- Assessing and evaluating patients
- Preparing the patients for the test
- Ensure the patients are in the correct position on the equipment for the pictured item.
- Making the patients as comfortable as possible and assenting to their needs
- Understanding the safety measures when working with complex machinery that can be potentially hazardous to health.
- Keeping all the equipment up to date and ready for use
What Are The Different Radiologic Technologist Specializations?
As a Radiologic technologist, you can also choose to specialize in different fields, such as:
- Nuclear medicine
- Vascular interventional radiography
- Computed tomography (CT)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Bone densitometry
- Cardiac-interventional radiography
What Does A Radiologic Technologist’s Work Environment Look Like?
Radiologic technologists usually work in medical laboratories, clinics, hospitals, and doctor’s offices. The job may be part-time or full-time, depending on the institution’s needs. Sometimes, you work different shifts, such as the morning or night, and go on a roster with the other radiographers.
Radiology technologists need some soft skill training because sometimes they have to work with patients who are nervous, scared, or in a lot of pain. This is when they need someone to comfort them and calm them before the procedure.
Before and after the procedure is done, the radiologist is the one person who will be with the patient throughout. This is why they need to communicate well with the patients and make them feel comfortable.
Considering The Future Of Radiologic Technology
Besides the introductory certification courses, radiologic technologists can specialize in different procedures. The most common ones are vascular sonography, computed tomography (CT), bone densitometry, mammography, and breast sonography.
There has been so much technological advancement worldwide, and radiologic technology is no stranger. From treating broken bones to curing cancer, these advancements have made it easier for doctors and physicians to treat patients, knowing they have more detailed information about their conditions through these images.
Experts in the health imaging field swear by some recent innovations, such as wearable technology, that are making it easier for the public to care for their health and even lending a helping hand to those in the healthcare industry. These new inventions allow radiologists to expand into different fields of work and dive into other career paths rather than just at the hospital.
Why Consider A Career In Radiology Technology?
In a world where technology constantly evolves, there are many opportunities for more advanced technology in the field, requiring more people to operate and maintain this equipment. There are also many opportunities in the technology field because the advancements are diverse, and the possibilities are endless.
There is also job security as a radiologic technologist because imaging procedures are standard practice in all hospitals, and most patients need them. Doctors and hospitals will need radiographers to help them treat patients, so jobs will always be available as long as there are patients.
If you have more specialized certifications, there are more chances for you to climb up the corporate ladder and get higher-payer positions as a radiographer. You can also move towards the teaching field, where you can instruct other aspiring radiographers on the dos and don’ts of the career path.