Job OverviewRadiologic technologists work directly with patients and they help them go through all the required steps in order to make sure that the produced images are of the highest quality. Radiologic technologists also play an important role in reassuring uncomfortable patients of the safety of the procedures.
They are the ones who must prepare the patients and to guide them through the entire medical imaging process. Also, they must ensure that the patients remove all objects that could interfere with the imaging process, and they also make sure that the patients are positioned correctly and that they are protected from overexposure. Once the medical imaging process has finished, radiologic technologists closely work with radiologists in order to review and interpret the test results.
A radiologic technologist is a radiology technician who has advanced in position through additional education and training. He or she may also become specialized in a certain area such as mammography.
A typical radiologic technologist will work in clinics, hospitals or image processing centers. Some might even get employed in private physician offices or other private medical centers. Hospitals provide the largest amount of jobs although they may also have the busiest schedule, and some radiologic technologists may be required to be available on call or to work night shifts.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the demand for radiologic technologists will see an increase of 28 percent compared to the average by the year 2020.
SalaryAccording to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, radiologic technologists currently earn an annual median wage of about $54,340, with the lowest salaries being at $42,000 and the highest reaching as much as $74,000. Medical and diagnostic laboratories are the employers who pay the highest wages, while doctors’ offices pay the lowest wages.
Radiologic technologists who go through additional education and training and who can handle more equipment and devices have much higher salaries compared to the ones who have no extra training or experience.
TrainingThere are three career paths which can be taken in order to qualify as a radiologic technologist. One of them is to follow a certificate program of one or two years. The other two are two obtain a two year associate degree or to go for a full four year bachelor’s degree.
Individuals aspiring for a position as a radiologic technologist can opt for traditional programs at various institutions or they can follow online courses. Some radiology programs might require previous experience or medical training and other things such as ethics coursework.
Most institutions who offer training also offer students the opportunity to obtain hands-on experience by working directly with patients. It is recommended to take a Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology-accredited training program in order to be qualified for a certification.
Reviews & AdviceA radiologic technologist needs to have excellent science skills and strong knowledge in other areas such as mathematics. Also, excellent communication skills are required since the radiologic technologist will work with a patient through the entire length of the medical imaging process. Having a flexible mindset and being able to adapt to different situations is also a must.
Although most radiologic technologists work full time during normal business hours, some might be required to go through additional shifts if needed. One of the key aspects to be considered is the fact that a radiologic technologist is mainly there to help patients rather than to use the equipment.