What Is the Job Description of a Radiology Technician?

Radiology technicians work in a variety of medical settings, providing literal insight to what is going on in patients' bodies. The majority of radiology technician positions require an applicant to hold an associate's or bachelor's degree in the field. Read on for more information about becoming a radiology technician. Schools offering Cardiovascular Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Radiology technicians use radiation equipment to help diagnosis medical problems and, because of the machinery used to do so, have many technical job responsibilities. Radiology technicians administer to patients any necessary solutions or materials for diagnostic purposes, position patients to limit radiation exposure, and ensure all equipment is used safely. These workers are familiar with both CAT scans and X-ray machines. Radiology technicians also care for and develop all radiographs, making sure that the physicians and doctors receive all the necessary X-ray images needed to properly diagnosis a patient. Experienced radiology technicians may also perform fluoroscopies, keep patient records, or manage a radiology department. Radiology technicians primarily work in hospitals, though jobs are also available in clinics, physician offices, and other medical facilities.

Interpersonal communication between a worker and the patient is another part of the job description for a radiology technician. Patients can range from children to the elderly, so radiology technicians must be prepared to handle all age groups. Some degree of sensitivity is needed, and privacy needs to be respected because patients can feel vulnerable and uneasy. Radiology technicians need to clearly explain all preparations involved with a procedure to ensure everything occurs smoothly. In addition to communicating with patients, radiology technicians may need to answer questions presented by family members.

Important Facts About Radiology Technicians

Required Education Associate's degree
Professional Certification Exam administered by state or the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists
Work Environment Hospitals or physician's offices
Similar Occupations Nuclear medicine technologists, radiation therapists, diagnostic medical sonographers, cardiovascular technologists and technicians

Skills and Abilities

Different employers may require additional sets of skills and abilities, which vary depending on the industry. For example, radiology technicians involved in cardiovascular departments use electrocardiograms to take 3-D images of patient's hearts in order to assist in a patient's diagnosis.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), some radiology technicians work as magnetic resonance imaging technologists, workers who create 3-D images of the insides of an individual's body. Mammographers are radiology technicians that produce images of a patient's breast through the use of X-ray machines, but at a lower radiation dose. Many other job duties and specializations exist depending on the radiology technician's employer.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

According to PayScale.com, most radiology technicians earn between $28,707 and $58,977 a year, as of September 2015. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) indicated that the employment of radiologic technologists is projected to increase by about 9% between 2014 and 2024, a rate faster than the national average predicted for all occupations.

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