What Does a Radiologic Technologist Do?

Radiologic technologists are professionals in the allied health field who use diagnostic imaging techniques and provide radiation therapy. Read on to find out more about what radiologic technologists do. Schools offering Cardiovascular Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

A radiologic technologist is a radiologist's assistant who administers nonradioactive treatments to patients for diagnostic purposes, as well as takes x-rays and fluoroscope readings. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) says that radiologic technologists prepare patients for exams by explaining procedures and positioning patients for radiography.

They also work to prevent unnecessary radiation exposure to patients, co-workers, and themselves. A radiologic technologist may need to measure the thickness of the section to be x-rayed, set controls on the machine, take the x-ray, and develop it.

Important Facts About Radiologic Technologists

On-the-job Training1-2 years with experienced worker
LicensureRequired in most states
Key SkillsListening, reading comprehension, social perceptiveness, speaking, writing
Work EnvironmentHospitals, medical and diagnostic laboratories, medical practices, outpatient care centers

Specializations

According to the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT), www.asrt.org, professionals in this field can specialize in numerous areas. For example, nuclear medicine technologists use special pharmaceuticals that can provide data about organs and tissues. Radiographers conduct diagnostic imaging procedures through the use of x-ray devices. Radiologic technologists can specialize in sonography, which involves the use of sound waves to gather diagnostic information. Other specialized careers for radiologic technologists are as follows:

  • Mammographer
  • Magnetic resonance technologist
  • Bone densitometry technologist

Additional Duties and Responsibilities

The Occupational Information Network (www.onetonline.org) provides information regarding additional duties expected of radiologic technologists. Technologists might have to adjust and maintain equipment and keep patient records. Radiologic technologists must record a patient's lifetime dose of radiation, according to government standards. The hazards are minimized by using shielding garments, such as aprons, gloves, and monitoring devices, which determine the level of exposure to radiation. Technologists wear badges measuring radiation levels in the radiation area and detailed records are kept on their cumulative lifetime dose.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the BLS, the projected job growth for radiologic technologists was 9% from 2014 to 2024. The BLS reported the median annual wage for radiologic technologists was $55,870 in May 2014.

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