Radiologic Technologist - How to Become a Radiologic Technologist

Radiologic Technologist

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Radiologic Technologist Job Description

 

Radiologic technologists perform diagnostic imaging procedures, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), x-ray examinations and computed tomography (CT) scan,s and administer radiation therapy treatments. Some radiologic technologists specialize in specific imaging procedures, such as Mammography, sonography, cardiovascular-interventional radiography, bone densitometry, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, nuclear medicine, quality management, or general radiography.

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Responsibilities

 

It is the radiologic technologist’s responsibility to properly position patients and obtain a quality diagnostic image. They work in close relationship with Radiologists, who interpret the image to diagnose disease or identify injury. The importance of this responsibility cannot be understated: it is imperative that the physician correctly interpret the imaging to accurately diagnose the patient’s condition. Therefore, a radiologic technologist's job only allows for a small margin of error. 

There are specialty areas of radiologic techs hold different tasks and responsibilities based on the area of expertise.

Bone Densitometry Techs:

  • Specialize in measuring bone density and calculating bone mineral content. Their results help Physicians estimate the amount of bone loss due to osteoporosis and other bone diseases, track the rate of bone loss over time, and estimate the risk of fracture. 

Cardiovascular-Interventional Techs:

  • Use technology to guide tools such as catheters, and stents through the body to avoid making the patient undergo open surgery. 

Computed Tomography Techs:

  • Use a rotating x-ray to piece together layered, full-bodies images for diagnostics. They can also see into organs which can't be done with general radiography. 

Magnetic Resonance Techs:

  • Operates MR equipment which uses strong magnets to  manipulate atoms which give off signals that can be measured and processed by a computer that turns them into a detailed image of the patients body.   

Mammographers:

  • Produce images to help detect breast cancer and other anomalies in breast tissue. They have to meet strict standards under federal law--Mammography Quality Standards Act-- because what they do is super detailed and has little room for error. 

Nuclear Medicine Techs:

  • Use radiopharmaceuticals to get information on organs, tissues, and bone. They use the gamma rays emitted by the radiopharmaceuticals to create images on computers. 

Quality Management Techs:

  • Monitor the quality of processes and systems in the radiology department. The administer quality control tests, gauge the quality of tools and equipment, and see if techniques and results can be duplicated. 

Radiographers:

  • Produce black and white images of human anatomy by x-rays. They use the images to find fractures in bones and other anomalies in the body. 

Sonographers:

  • Administer what's known as an ultrasound, which uses sound waves to create images of tissues and organs. The sound waves send back echoes that create the images. They use their skills when trying to find tumors or other anomalies, or when getting an ultrasound for pregnancies. 

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Skills

 

A radiologic technologist must be versed in a myriad of skills. They have to be able to determine different techniques for different problems and decide the best course of action. They also need strong interpersonal skills since they deal with patients on a regular basis, along with clerical and professional skills as they sometimes manage groups and perform office tasks. 

Some of their skills include, but are not limited to, the following:

Active Listening

Must be able to listen to your patients and determine the best route for their care. You have to be able to understand what bothers them and ask intelligent questions to determine the best course of action.

Social Perceptiveness

Must know how people act and why they act that way. Being perceptive to their actions will allow for better treatment.

Critical Thinking

Determine appropriate actions and if there are alternative solutions available. Define the best solutions to your problems and the problems of your patients.

Monitoring

Work with other healthcare specialists to define the best treatments and plans of action.

Coordination

Work with other healthcare specialists to define the best treatments and plans of action.

Service Orientation

Must be driven to serving and improving the lives of others.

Judgment & Decision Making

Must be able to choose the best course of action and follow through. Use your knowledge to give the best care.

Problem Solving

Decipher issues and figure out why they are happening and solve them. Adapt and overcome situations to provide the best outcomes.

Strategy

Decide the best course of action for different situations to have the best outcomes.

Quality Control Analysis

Conduct tests and inspections of different products, services, and processes to evaluate quality and performance.

Systems Analysis

Determining how a system should work fix it if problems arise.

Systems Evaluation

Identify system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance.

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Working Conditions

 

Most radiologic technology positions are full-time employment at 40 hours a week. Some positions may include evening, weekend or on-call assignments. There are also opportunities for part-time and shift work available.

While hospitals remain one of the major employers of radiologic technicians, more employment opportunities are opening up as specialty clinics, such as orthopedic, sports medicine, cancer diagnosis and treatment centers, and urgent care facilities, are moving to employ their own bank of radiologic technologists for their practices.

 


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How to Become a Radiologic Technologist:

 

There are multiple avenues of preparation available to those desiring to enter the Radiologic Technologist profession. Training can be obtained through the following institutions:

  • Hospitals
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Vocational-Technical training centers
  • U.S. Armed Forces

Radiologic Technologists have three options to get their certification.

 

1. Earn a Certificate (1-2 Years)

 

This option is beneficial if you are transitioning fields in healthcare and have experience in radiology technology. Certificate Programs are available through online programs, community colleges, and some hospitals. You will receive hands-on training and be exposed to many different courses in your training. 

Your coursework will be much of what it would be with an associate's degree. A strong foundation in anatomy, biology, medical terminology, chemistry, math, and radiology theory will be built with a certificate program. Like stated before, this option is useful if you have another degree or are switching fields. If not, it's best to go with option 2. 

 

2. Earn an Associate's Degree (2 Years)

 

Associate's degrees are the most common ways to become a radiologic technologist. They typically include classroom education and clinical training. Radiologic technologists are required to complete a course of study that includes:

  • Basic anatomy

  • Techniques of patient positioning

  • Fundamental and advanced examination techniques

  • Equipment use

  • Calibration and maintenance protocols

  • Safety when working with radiation

  • Protection from radiation contamination

  • Fundamentals of patient care.

Most radiologic technologists are employed by hospitals, which prefer to hire personnel with formal training leading to national certifications. Information on certification can be obtained from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.

 

American Registry of Radiologic Technologists' certification exams

 

3. Earn a Bachelor's Degree (4 Years)

 

Some colleges offer radiologic technologist degree programs. Their coursework is heavy in Biology, Chemistry, Anatomy, Pathology, and Radiobiology. This path isn't necessary, but could land you better jobs and more pay. Also, it could allow you better entry into specialized fields and better equip your for advanced learning, if you so choose. 

Check with The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) to see if your institution is an accredited body for Radiology Technician studies. 

 

4. Earn the Required Certification

 

You must be certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists to become a radiologic technologist. The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists’ certification exams gauge your knowledge and ability to perform your tasks. States use your ARRT exam scores to dictate if you get a State License or not. 

 

5. Maintain Certification Through Continuing Education

 

You must complete 24 hours of continuing education every 2 years. 

 

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Salary Outlook

Title Company Location Posted
12.05.2016
Good verbal and written communications skills required CentraCare Health - Sauk Centre is seeking a full-time (.8 FTE) Radiologic Technologist. CT, Bone Densitometry, ECG and Mammography experience preferred. Weeknight call and rotating...
12.05.2016
We have a PRN opening in our Imaging Department for a Radiologic Technologist. This position will be responsible for operating Radiographic equipment to produce radiographs (x-rays) of the body for diagnostic purposes, as directed by the...
12.05.2016
The Radiologic Technologist is responsible for operating radiologic equipment to make clinical diagnostic images as directed by physicians and performing routine diagnostic procedures according to established standards and practices. Position...
12.05.2016
The Radiologic Technologist is responsible for operating radiologic equipment to make clinical diagnostic images as directed by physicians and performing routine diagnostic procedures according to established standards and practices. Position...
12.05.2016
This position is responsible for working directly with patients and assisting radiologists and/or staff physicians while administering ionizing radiation in the course of computerized tomography (CT) examinations in concordance with physicians...
12.05.2016
GENERAL SUMMARY AND PURPOSE: Performs procedures on patients of all ages, according to approved protocols, radiation safety, and established exam indicators. Maintains patient and procedure documentation. Maintains knowledge of equipment and...
12.05.2016
GENERAL SUMMARY AND PURPOSE: Performs procedures on patients of all ages, according to approved protocols, radiation safety, and established exam indicators. Maintains patient and procedure documentation. Maintains knowledge of equipment and...
12.05.2016
This new graduate/entry level position is responsible for working directly with patients and assisting radiologists and/or staff physicians while administering x-rays in the course of radiological examinations in concordance with physician...
12.05.2016
This new graduate/entry level position is responsible for working directly with patients and assisting radiologists and/or staff physicians while administering x-rays in the course of radiological examinations in concordance with physician...
12.05.2016
CPR certified Heath Care Provider from AHA Current State license or certificate Are you available to work flexible hours? Are you interested in positions located in Lagrange, IN? Summary Operates diagnostic imaging equipment and performs...
12.05.2016
Part Time, Koke Mill location BASIC FUNCTION: Dependent upon the area assigned, provide support to the Radiologic Technologist to ensure promptness and efficiency of the patient care process. Ensure patient comfort and safety during the...
12.05.2016
BASIC FUNCTION: Dependent upon the area assigned, provide support to the Radiologic Technologist to ensure promptness and efficiency of the patient care process. Ensure patient comfort and safety during the radiological...
12.05.2016
Under the direction of the Manager(s), performs a wide variety of duties to provide all diagnostic Radiologic and CT Service to Imaging ER Patients, In-Patients and Out Patients in accordance with physician orders and HHS hospital policies,...
12.05.2016
Find more than a job. Find more in yourself. Find your calling. Essentia Health seeks employees who embrace our commitment to patient-and family-centered care in communities both large and small. Were looking for people who are committed to...
12.05.2016
BLS certification within 90 days of start Certification/Licensure/Registration JOB SUMMARY The Radiologic Technologist performs diagnostic CT imaging; radiographic procedures or bone densitometry procedures in Radiology. Assists with...
  1. Radiologic Technologist St. Cloud, MN CentraCare Health
    Good verbal and written communications skills required CentraCare Health - Sauk Centre is seeking a full-time (.8 FTE) Radiologic Technologist. CT, Bone Densitometry, ECG and Mammography experience preferred. Weeknight call and rotating...
  2. Radiologic Technologist Port Clinton, OH H.B. Magruder Memorial Hospital
    We have a PRN opening in our Imaging Department for a Radiologic Technologist. This position will be responsible for operating Radiographic equipment to produce radiographs (x-rays) of the body for diagnostic purposes, as directed by the...
  3. Radiologic Technologist Sioux Center, IA Sioux Center Health
    The Radiologic Technologist is responsible for operating radiologic equipment to make clinical diagnostic images as directed by physicians and performing routine diagnostic procedures according to established standards and practices. Position...
  4. Radiologic Technologist Sioux Center, IA Sioux Center Health
    The Radiologic Technologist is responsible for operating radiologic equipment to make clinical diagnostic images as directed by physicians and performing routine diagnostic procedures according to established standards and practices. Position...
  5. Radiologic Technologist Cookeville, TN Cookeville Regional Medical Center
    This position is responsible for working directly with patients and assisting radiologists and/or staff physicians while administering ionizing radiation in the course of computerized tomography (CT) examinations in concordance with physicians...
  6. Radiologic Technologist Boise, ID Saint Alphonsus Health System
    GENERAL SUMMARY AND PURPOSE: Performs procedures on patients of all ages, according to approved protocols, radiation safety, and established exam indicators. Maintains patient and procedure documentation. Maintains knowledge of equipment and...
  7. Radiologic Technologist Boise, ID Saint Alphonsus Health System
    GENERAL SUMMARY AND PURPOSE: Performs procedures on patients of all ages, according to approved protocols, radiation safety, and established exam indicators. Maintains patient and procedure documentation. Maintains knowledge of equipment and...
  8. Radiologic Technologist Cookeville, TN Cookeville Regional Medical Center
    This new graduate/entry level position is responsible for working directly with patients and assisting radiologists and/or staff physicians while administering x-rays in the course of radiological examinations in concordance with physician...
  9. Radiologic Technologist Cookeville, TN Cookeville Regional Medical Center
    This new graduate/entry level position is responsible for working directly with patients and assisting radiologists and/or staff physicians while administering x-rays in the course of radiological examinations in concordance with physician...
  10. Radiologic Technologist Fort Wayne, IN Parkview Health
    CPR certified Heath Care Provider from AHA Current State license or certificate Are you available to work flexible hours? Are you interested in positions located in Lagrange, IN? Summary Operates diagnostic imaging equipment and performs...
  11. Radiologic Technologist Assistant Springfield, IL Memorial Health System
    Part Time, Koke Mill location BASIC FUNCTION: Dependent upon the area assigned, provide support to the Radiologic Technologist to ensure promptness and efficiency of the patient care process. Ensure patient comfort and safety during the...
  12. Radiologic Technologist Assistant Springfield, IL Memorial Health System
    BASIC FUNCTION: Dependent upon the area assigned, provide support to the Radiologic Technologist to ensure promptness and efficiency of the patient care process. Ensure patient comfort and safety during the radiological...
  13. CT/Radiologic Technologist Medford, MA Lawrence Memorial Hospital
    Under the direction of the Manager(s), performs a wide variety of duties to provide all diagnostic Radiologic and CT Service to Imaging ER Patients, In-Patients and Out Patients in accordance with physician orders and HHS hospital policies,...
  14. Radiologic Technologist (3 @ Casual) Duluth, MN Essentia Health
    Find more than a job. Find more in yourself. Find your calling. Essentia Health seeks employees who embrace our commitment to patient-and family-centered care in communities both large and small. Were looking for people who are committed to...
  15. LV Radiologic Technologist Duluth, MN St. Luke's Hospital
    BLS certification within 90 days of start Certification/Licensure/Registration JOB SUMMARY The Radiologic Technologist performs diagnostic CT imaging; radiographic procedures or bone densitometry procedures in Radiology. Assists with...