Radiographers who are otherwise called as radiography technicians are the medical doctors who would make use of diagnostic devices and/or procedures for the purpose of assessing and treating patients. They are known for using cutting-edge imaging technologies in order to study organs as well as tissues of human body in a more gentle and non-invasive manner.
The early radiologists had only the film x-rays for the purpose of examining the organs and tissues whereas the present day radiologists have a range of tools to work with:
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Positron Emission Tomography
As a radiography technician, you are required to do the following tasks:
Adjusting and maintaining imaging equipments
Following orders from the physicians on what areas of the patients’ body to image
Preparing patients for procedures which would include:
Taking the medical history
Answering any question with regards to the procedure
Protecting the patients by shielding any exposed area that does not need to be imaged
Positioning the patient as well as the equipment for the purpose of obtaining the right images
Working with physicians in order to study the image and for determining whether any extra images to be taken
Maintaining detailed patient records
How to Become a Radiographer?
Most commonly, the degree completed by those people who are looking for a career in radiography field will be a two-year associate’s degree in ‘radiation science’. In addition, there are also some post-secondary programs that would lead to bachelor’s degree or graduate certificate. The coursework would include the following:
Radiation physics and protection
Medical record keeping
High school candidates who are willing to pursue their career in radiology are suggested to take courses that include the following subjects:
License and Certification:
In order to become licensed, radiology technicians must have graduated from an accredited program and should pass a certification exam from ‘American Registry of Radiologic Technologists’. You could also pass either of the following examinations in order to obtain license:
United States Medical Licensing Exam
Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Exam
And, in the United States, radiographers must be certified in few states.
Job Outlook and Opportunities:
The job market of radiologic technologists has been estimated to grow by 21% from the year 2012 to 2022 which is much faster than the average of all occupations. As the overall population grows older, there will be a rise in medical conditions like fractures or breaks which would require more imaging technicians in the near future.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of United States Department of Labor, the average annual pay for the radiography technician was $54,620 as of May 2012.