Becoming a Radiologic Technologist
Using radiographic technology, a radiologic technologist is able to capture the internal anatomy of
patients and sends these images to attending physicians or radiologists so that they can make
properly make a diagnosis. The most well-known equipment used in this career is an x-ray machine,
although others may also be used such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography
(CT). Medical problems can be treated early and effectively with the help of these highly-advanced
equipment without resorting to invasive procedures such as surgery.
Radiologic technologists must always see to it that patients are properly protected from radiation
exposure by equipping them with lead shields onto exposed areas. Radiation can be especially
dangerous to the genital areas as they can destroy sperm and egg cells, and may render a person
unable to procreate in the future. Besides this, they must also ensure that patients are properly
guided throughout the diagnostic imaging procedure. Patients must be in an appropriate posture that
will help make the imaging process more efficient and effective, while the radiation being emitted
by the x-ray equipment must be at the right dosage depending on the person being scanned.
A radiologic technologist must have absolute control of the x-ray equipment – he must ensure that
the settings such as exposure time should be appropriate for every situation. Doctors usually
provide specific instructions to technologists regarding the imaging procedures, and the radiologic
tech must carefully follow all of them while performing his duties. Explaining the results of the
imaging procedure is not covered by the job scope of a radiologic tech – no matter how patients
insist about it, he must tell them that only the attending physician or radiologist can interpret
the results to them and give them the proper medical advice.
Since the radiologic technologist career can be very challenging because of its very technical
nature, people who wish to pursue it are required to take up a minimum of 2 years worth of training,
usually in an associate’s degree program. You must complete this in order to be qualified for any
employment opportunity, whether in hospitals, clinics, diagnostic laboratories, and outpatient care
centers. Your training will allow you to learn how to properly use and maintain x-ray equipment,
handle patients, as well as following standard safety procedures whenever diagnostic imaging
procedures are being performed.
If you are to succeed as a radiologic technologist, you must seek certification from the American
Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). The ARRT is an authorized body that can provide
certification in special areas of radiology such as mammography, angiography, MRI, and CT. With the
competitive nature of this career, specializing in more areas can lead to better employment
opportunities and salary thresholds. And with experience and continuing education, you may also be
promoted to managerial or top-level positions. Being in this medical field, you are at least sure
that you have a well-secured job that can stand up even under the pressure of recession, plus you
also get that sense of fulfilment through saving other people’s lives.