If you want to put your tech skills to work in healthcare, start on your path to a career as a radiologic technician.
Radiologic technologists operate X-ray machines, and with additional training use digital mammography machines, computed tomography (CT) machines, as well as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners and other types of medical imaging equipment. Their responsibilities include:
- Preparing the patient for the exam by explaining the procedure.
- Positioning patients so that the parts of the body can be appropriately radiographed.
- Setting controls on the machine to produce images of the appropriate density, detail, and contrast.
- Placing the imaging plate under the part of the patient’s body to be examined and make the exposure.
- Using a computer to develop and manage x-ray images.
- Providing basic patient care.
- Performing trauma and surgical x-ray procedures.
Proper training in radiologic technology is vital to understanding and operating the high-tech equipment that you'll use every day on the job. Radiologic technologists must follow physicians’ orders precisely and conform to regulations concerning the use of radiation to protect themselves, their patients, and their coworkers from unnecessary exposure.
A great career field for those who like people, technology, and science.
Radiologic technologists are on their feet for long periods of time and have to help or lift disabled patients. Although there are some radiation hazards, these are minimized by the use of lead aprons, gloves, and other shielding devices. In addition, technologists wear badges that measure radiation levels in their work area and detailed records are kept on their cumulative lifetime dose. Technologists must be able to move, push, and manipulate equipment. They must also be comfortable working on a computer.
Earning a degree to become a radiology technician could be right for you, if you:
- Like to work with people.
- Are interested in the human body.
- Enjoy working with technology.
- Are detail oriented.
- Like clear guidelines.
- Trust facts.
- Have good people and communication skills.
- Possess critical thinking skills to adjust for patient condition.
Radiologic Technology Career Paths
Ranked #24 Best Health Care Jobs of 2017 by U.S. News & World Report
Radiologic technologists who are willing to relocate and who also are experienced in more than one diagnostic imaging procedure – such as CT, MR, and mammography – will have the best employment opportunities as employers seek to control costs by using multi-credentialed employees. Radiographers may specialize in more complex imaging procedures including:
- Computed Tomography (CT)
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Experienced technologists also may be promoted to:
- Chief radiologic technologist
- Department administrator or director – Depending on the institution, courses or a master’s degree in business or health administration may be necessary for the director’s position
Some radiologic technologists progress by specializing in the occupation to become:
- Instructors or directors in radiologic technology programs
- Sales representatives
- Instructors with equipment manufacturers
Most full-time radiologic technologists work about 40 hours a week. They may, however, have evening, weekend, or on-call hours. In a hospital setting, technologists may work a full time night shift or weekend shift, and alternating these shifts mayh be required. Opportunities for part-time and shift work also are available and new graduates may start with a PRN status, with variable days and hours.
Although hospitals will remain the principal employer of radiologic technologists, a number of new jobs will be found in offices of physicians and diagnostic imaging centers. Health facilities such as these are expected to grow through 2018, because of the shift toward outpatient care, encouraged by third-party payers and made possible by technological advances that permit more procedures to be performed outside the hospital. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of radiologic technologists is expected to increase by about 28% from 2010 to 2020, which is faster than the average for all occupations.
Radiologic Technology Program Curriculum
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Associate of Science in Radiologic Technology Program
This selective and limited-enrollment program prepares graduates for entry-level positions in hospitals and clinics. Students gain the theory and principles of radiation production as well as learn radiographic techniques and the fundamentals of patient care.
Classes not only feature traditional lectures, videos, slides and textbooks but also hands-on experience at Herzing’s on-campus lab and in actual clinics. Students completing the program will be eligible to take the national registry exam offered by the ARRT and for Florida State Licensure.
Prepare for your certification while earning your associate degree
The Associate of Science in Radiologic Technology program at the Herzing University Orlando Campus meets the educational requirements for graduates to be eligible to take the Radiography Certification examination through The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Click here for more information.