Radiologic Technologist Jobs
Radiologic technologists, also known as radiographers, perform x-rays , providing x-ray films of the human body, and administer nonradioactive substances into the patient’s blood to help doctors in the diagnosis and treatment of the patient.
Job Description: A Day in the Life of a Radiologic Technologist
The majority of radiologic technologists work in hospitals. Other places of employment include doctors’ offices and diagnostic imaging centers. Like a cardio technologist, being a radiologic technologist does require some contact with patients. Before beginning a procedure like an x-ray, a radiologic technologist must explain the procedure to the patient and make sure necessary precautions are taken, like the removal of body jewelry which x-rays can not pass through.
Radiologic technologists must also take care to prevent unnecessary radiation exposure, which means using lead shields and other protective devices to limit the coverage of the x-ray beam. After completing the x-ray, the radiologic technologist must develop the x-ray film (or radiograph), which can then be used to help diagnose medical problems.
General Requirements and Training
Since the tools they work with are potentially harmful, it is very important that radiologic technologists are properly trained and certified, and that they follow regulations precisely thereby protecting themselves, their patients, and coworkers.
To become a licensed radiologic technologist, individuals must graduate from an accredited training program and, in most States, are required to obtain certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.
Training programs for radiologic technologists are offered by hospitals, colleges and universities and may take anywhere from one to four years to complete.
Depending on the program, graduates may earn a certificate associates degree, or bachelor’s degree.
Programs provide both classroom and clinical instruction, covering topics such as anatomy, patient care, radiation physics, medical terminology, medical ethics, and more. Some radiologic technologists may choose to specialize in computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MR), or mammography procedures.
Salary, Benefits, and Opportunities for Advancement
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of radiologic technologists and technicians is $52,210 per year as of May 2008. Salary.com reports the mid-50% earnings range of radiologic technologists to be $43,138 to $51,638.
According to Payscale.com, a radiologic technologist with one to four years of experience earns an average of $16.83 to $21.78 hourly, while a radiologic technologist with twenty or more years of experience earns an average of $20.68 to $28.32.