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Radiologic Technologist Overview - Specialty Areas - Preparation -
Day In The Life - Earnings - Employment - Career Path Forecast -
Professional Organizations - PowerPoint - Podcast


Radiologic technologists and technicians perform diagnostic imaging examination. Radiologic technicians perform imaging examinations like x rays while technologists use other imaging modalities such as computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and mammography.

Radiologic technicians, sometimes referred to as radiographers, produce x-ray films (radiographs) of parts of the human body for use in diagnosing medical problems. They prepare patients for radiologic examinations by explaining the procedure, removing jewelry and other articles through which x rays cannot pass, and positioning patients so that the parts of the body can be appropriately radiographed. To prevent unnecessary exposure to radiation, these workers surround the exposed area with radiation protection devices, such as lead shields, or limit the size of the x-ray beam. Radiographers position radiographic equipment at the correct angle and height over the appropriate area of a patient's body. Using instruments similar to a measuring tape they may measure the thickness of the section to be radiographed and set controls on the x-ray machine to produce radiographs of the appropriate density, detail, and contrast.

Radiologic technologists and technicians must follow physicians' orders precisely and conform to regulations concerning the use of radiation to protect themselves, their patients, and their coworkers from unnecessary exposure.

In addition to preparing patients and operating equipment, radiologic technologists and technicians keep patient records and adjust and maintain equipment. They also may prepare work schedules, evaluate purchases of equipment, or manage a radiology department.

Radiologic technologists perform more complex imaging procedures. When performing fluoroscopies, for example, radiologic technologists prepare a solution for the patient to drink, allowing the radiologist (a physician who interprets radiographs) to see soft tissues in the body.

Some radiologic technologists specialize in computed tomography (CT), as CT technologists. CT scans produce a substantial amount of cross-sectional x rays of an area of the body. From those cross-sectional x rays, a three-dimensional image is made. The CT uses ionizing radiation; therefore, it requires the same precautionary measures that are used with x rays.

Radiologic technologists also can specialize in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MR) as MR technologists. MR, like CT, produces multiple cross-sectional images to create a 3-dimensional image. Unlike CT and x rays, MR uses non-ionizing radio frequency to generate image contrast.

Radiologic technologists might also specialize in mammography. Mammographers use low dose x-ray systems to produce images of the breast.

In addition to radiologic technologists, others who conduct diagnostic imaging procedures include cardiovascular technologists and technicians, diagnostic medical sonographers, and nuclear medicine technologists.

Radiologic Technologist Resources

Online

Overview:
Overview of the work of Radiologic Technologists
Specialty Areas:
Areas of practice
Preparation:
Programs, Degree Fields
Day in the Life:
The Workplace
Earnings:
Salary Ranges, Statistics
Employment:
Employment Options
Career Path Forecast:
Predictions for the field
Professional Organizations:
Resources, Networking, Support
Podcast:
Overview of the work of Radiologic Technologists
Internet Resources:
American Society of Radiologic Technologists

American Registry of Radiologic Technologists

Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
 


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