What Is a Radiologic Technologist?
A radiologic technologist is someone who performs analytic examinations such as X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging, and computed tomography. There are a few radiologic technologists, who have been previously called radiographers, produce X-ray films of particular areas of the human body for the purpose of diagnosing medical problems.
Radiologic technologists get patients ready for an examination by detailing the procedure, asking patients to take off anything they have on that x rays can’t pass, such as jewelry, and then they ensure that every patient is positioned perfectly so that they can be radiographed. In order to avoid any unnecessary contact to radiation, radiologic technologists cover any exposed areas with these devices that are specifically designed to protect individuals from radiation. These are generally lead shields that can easily be placed on and off patients.
Radiologic technologists are instructed to specifically follow every physician’s orders exactly as told and to follow the regulations regarding the use of radiation to protect themselves from all unnecessary exposure.
How to Become a Radiologic Technologist
A nice aspect of this career is that there is more than one way to break into this profession as it is profession offered in hospitals or colleges and universities. However, when it comes to the education and training you will need before you can apply to such a position, you will need to follow every step.
You will be required to have obtained at least a bachelor’s degree to go along with certification – which can be earned by enrolling in a specialized program that runs between 21 and 24 months long. All relevant programs related to this career offer both classroom and clinical teaching in anatomy and physiology, procedures regarding patient care, the physics and protection of radiation. Further education on medical terminology and positioning of patients also takes place.
Those in high school who have an interest in radiologic technology are recommended take as many courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology as they can to begin preparing early on for the information they will learn later.
Radiologic Technologist Career Outlook & Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008 radiologic technologists held about 214,700. Of that number, a little over 60% of all jobs were in hospitals. Many of the other jobs were in offices of physicians – medical and diagnostic laboratories.
Employment of radiologic technologists is expected to grow faster than average. However, for those who have knowledge of more than one diagnostic imaging procedure are projected to have the best employment opportunities. Employment of radiologic technologists is expected to increase by about 17% from 2008 to 2018 – this is faster than the average for all occupations. And as the population grows and ages, there will be a growing demand for diagnostic imaging.
While hospitals are going to continue to remain the principal employer of radiologic technologists, a set of new jobs can be found in offices of physicians and diagnostic imaging centers. As technology continues to advance, many imaging modalities are slowly becoming more affordable and more practical to have in a physician’s office.