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Radiographer

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:

  • X-rays

  • Ultrasound

  • Computerized Tomography

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging

  • Positron Emission Tomography

  • Nuclear Imaging


Job Description:

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?

Educational Requirements:

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:

  • Anatomy

  • Pathology

  • Patient care

  • Radiation physics and protection

  • Image evaluation

  • Biology

  • 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:

  • Anatomy

  • Biology

  • Chemistry

  • Physiology

  • Mathematics

  • Physics


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.

Pay:

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.

Summary:

Average Pay                                        :           $54,620 as of May 2012

Education                                            :           Associate’s degree

Employment Growth from 2012 to 2022         :           21%

On-the-job training                           :           None

Work Experience                               :           None