There exist many different specialties in the medical imaging field which today is regarded as one of the best techniques to diagnose and treat patients without possibilities of developing the undesirable side effects. Radiology is one the most popular specialties in medicine that uses a number of imaging techniques such as radiography, X-ray, CT (computed tomography), ultrasound, MRI, and nuclear medicine to identify and treat various diseases within a human body.
In the United States, a career in radiologic technology is growing at a faster rate compared to many other related fields. According to a recent study, by 2024 the number of technologists in the radiology department is expected to increase by 9% and about 17500 new jobs were projected between the years 2014 and 2025. Due to this trend, pursuing a career as a radiological technologist is one of the best things you can do in your life.
This article focuses on radiologic technology as one of the modern professions in medicine, its education, and various jobs offered in the field.
What is a Radiologic Technologist?
A radiologic technologist is also known as a Medical Radiation Technologist, Radiographer, and is a specialist in the medical field who mainly performs various imaging tests on patients such as MRI’s, CT scans, ultrasounds, mammograms, and X-rays to help physicians or radiologists identify different kinds of injuries and illnesses.
You can also get into the field of Nuclear and Industrial Radiologic Technology, a field in which you would aid in the monitoring of industrial and nuclear processes using radiography.
Professional radiologic technologists use different apparatus and methods to help perform tests that can accurately diagnose specific diseases. They may use mammography, computed tomography, X-Ray equipment, and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). In addition, a radiological tech may choose to major in one or several diagnostic imaging technologies, although in general they are referred using the term “technology” in which they concentrate or specialize in. For instance, a radiographer who specializes in MRI, the magnetic resonance imaging is called an MRI technician, and the one who majors in CT, the computed tomography, is termed to as a CT Technician.
To become a professional radiological technologist, one must be certified and registered by ARRT (American Registry of Radiologic Technologists) in the US. Registered radiographers are greatly valued since they are well trained to expand the general health care using the current medical technology.
Radiological Technologist Education & Schools
Radiologic Tech Education
It’s no doubt that pursuing a profession that equals your talents and which provides a life/work balance is likely to make you one of the best in such a field, and the likelihood of earning a good deal of money in your career increases.
Individuals who are always concerned to use technology in medicine to improve the general health care of people should consider getting a formal training course in radiography. Majority of people joining this profession have acquired an associate degree although you can become one of the best radiographers with only a certificate or a first degree from a recognized university.
Studying for an associate degree takes a minimum of two years where learners are involved in different training programs relating to clinical medicine. Some of the courses taught include:
• Radiation Physics and Protection
• Human Anatomy
• Radiation Safety Measures
• Radiographic exposure
• Image Evaluation
• Patient Care Methods
To be eligible for a course in radiography, one must satisfy similar requirements needed to become a registered/certified nurse. Additionally, you will need the following additional skills.
• Teamwork, Patience, and good Communication skills
• Good in Mathematics and Science
• Should have strong Interpersonal Skills
• Must be Detail-Oriented
In order to be registered as a radio-technologist, you must complete and graduate from a training program that is fully recognized and accredited by the JRCERT (Joint-Review-Committee on Education in Radiography-Technology).
Best Schools to Study Radiologic Technology
The following are the top rated medical schools to study radiography:
Johns Hopkins University – One of the best universities in the world offering almost all programs in radiography including research. Based in Maryland (Baltimore).
The University of Iowa – A college of medicine offering courses such as Radiologic Technology, Radiation Therapy, Sonography, CT, and MRI.
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences – Offers great research programs as well as courses. Offers MRI, CT, BSC (diagnostic medical sonography), and among others.
University of California (San Francisco) – A university focused to promote health care through education. Offers many courses in radio technology.
University of Pennsylvania (Perelman) – A professional university offering many medical courses in radio technology and other fields.
Radiologic Tech Careers & Jobs
One of the major tasks involved with radio technologists include keeping track of patients medical records, follows orders from a radiologist or physician regarding the patient’s areas of the body in which they need image scans, explains procedures to patients, adjusts and positions medical equipment, and takes caution not to expose patients as well as themselves to radiation.
Radio Technologist Careers
A person choosing to study radiography at a University as a profession may choose one of the following specializations:
• Breast Imaging,
• Chest Radiography,
• Emergency Radiography,
• Head and Neck Radiography,
• Pediatric Radiology,
• Radiation Oncology,
• Cardiovascular Radiology, and
• Gastrointestinal (GI) Radiology
Jobs in Radiologic Technology
A radio tech may work in various areas such as clinics, hospitals, mobile imaging service centers, private physician offices, and etcetera. Those that work in hospitals are very busy compared to the outpatient technicians. Hospitals are also the leading places to find a job as a radiographer.
Since technology is becoming one of the things that the world cannot do without nowadays, especially in education and the scientific sectors, considering to study a course in radio technology can be the best investment you can make for your life.