healthcare professionals use a host of diagnostic equipment when diagnosing patients, ranging from x-rays to computed tomography. radiology technicians are the professionals who perform these examinations on patients.
what are the duties of radiology technicians? what skills are needed?
these technicians work in public or private facilities, and are responsible for a host of duties, from maintenance of the equipment to organizing patient records. they follow specific instructions from physicians on what areas of the body to image, and will also prepare the patient for the procedure itself. in addition to positioning the equipment to the right area, the technician will also be shielding exposed areas which do not need to be imaged. some technicians may also specialize in mammography, which requires low doses of x-rays to produce images of the breast. other technicians may be proficient at multiple diagnostic methods.
individuals interested in becoming radiology technicians must be detail-oriented with good interpersonal skills. these abilities make them good at following specific instructions and putting the patient at ease while preparing them for procedures. sometimes, patients may be in great pain or stress, and the technician should be able to get them to cooperate. radiology technicians must also have a comprehensive understanding of anatomy and physiology, and know how to combine different doses of chemicals used in imaging procedures. lastly, these technicians are expected to work long hours in the workplace, often spending most of their time on their feet. as a result, the individuals need stamina.
how to become a radiology technician: education, licensing.
the preferred route of entry into this field requires students obtaining an associates degree in the field. however, bachelors degrees are also available which offer more rigorous and comprehensive training on the same topics. through a combination of didactic and practical training, these programs will help you gain a better understanding of the human body in a medical context and how to use different imaging techniques to help in patient diagnosis. enrollment into these programs requires students to have a valid high school diploma and some background in science and math. the joint review committee on education in radiologic technology (jrcert) authorizes educational programs in radiography; completing such a program is required if you wish to obtain a license. your states health board may set additional requirements which you need to fulfill in order to obtain a license. the american registry of radiologic technologist (aart) administers the test which certifies you to become a professional radiology technician.
job outlook and pay:
the bureau of labor statistics stated the median wage for radiology technologists as $54,000, with the top ten percent earning upwards of $70,000. it is also expected that the number of jobs in this field will grow by about 28 percent, which is much faster than the national average. this is because of a rise in aging population with more medical conditions. hospitals across america will continue to remain the primary employer for these professionals. those with multiple certifications will have the best job prospects.