Radiology Tech Requirements and Attributes
A Radiology Technician may also be referred to as a radiographer or an x-ray technician. It is important to note that when “technologist” is used in place of technician, it generally means a higher educational requirement and more responsibilities.
A Radiology Technician is employed to utilize different diagnostic equipment, such as x-ray machines and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment. This equipment is used to take pictures of bones, organ and tissue within the body for use in diagnosis and treatment. Radiology Technicians do not diagnose or treat however. They are given instructions by a physician pertaining to what part of the body requires imaging and utilize their skills, knowledge and equipment to create the best images possible. These images are then analyzed by qualified medical professionals.
A high level of communication skills are necessary for a successful career as a Radiology Technician. They interact directly with patients and other members of the diagnosis healthcare team every day. Radiographers must be able to accurately and concisely explain procedures to patients and sometimes record their medical history. Occasionally, patients are anxious or agitated. In the circumstances, it is the Radiology Technician’s responsibility to possess and utilize a good bedside manner to put the patient at ease.
They must also be detail oriented, as it is critical they follow the physician’s instructions to get the correct images necessary for diagnosis and treatment. Math and science skills are also needed to correctly mix chemicals. Radiology Technicians must be well-versed in anatomy and physiology in order to correctly position equipment for creating the images desired.
If you possess the skills above, pursuing a career as a Radiology Technician may be a wise decision. To do so, you will need certification at minimum. However, most employers require an associate’s degree from an accredited provider. Also, beginning in 2015, an associate’s degree will be required in order to be eligible to take the national accreditation examination.
Education needs to be completed from an accredited program. Most of these programs require coursework in pathology, anatomy and physics. Completion of a two or four year degree program qualifies you to take the national certification exam offered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (AART). In order to maintain certification, you must re-certify once every two years.
Once education and certification are completed, you are eligible to be hired as a Radiology Technician.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average median salary for a Radiology Technician is $38,800. They also predict the growth for this occupation to grow at an above average rate in the coming years.
If you are interested in starting your career as a Radiology Technician, it is important that you make an informed choice. Understanding what a Radiologist Technician is, the salary and stability you can expect, and the steps required to become one are all vital factors necessary to consider. This guide serves to comprehensively address all of those questions.
When you begin looking into the field of medical imaging, you will likely come across a variety of titles that seem to mean the same thing. This can certainly be confusing. The easy answer is that all of these positions are similar and work in the field of radiology. However, they do play different roles in providing services and may work in different settings. It is possible to begin your career as an X-Ray Technician and then become a Radiologist, but the training varies.
A radiology technician is more commonly referred to as an X-ray technician, radiographer or medical radiation technologist. This is a highly skilled trade and the need for trained and certified technicians continues to grow.