Radiology technicians play a major role in several healthcare environments as the experts who operate X-ray, CAT, PET, and other imaging devices. These devices give doctors the ability to view clear images of a patient’s body without piercing the skin. Thanks to the high-quality photos produced by a radiology technician, patients can find peace of mind knowing exactly what may be the cause of their medical condition. Radiology technicians may also be known as radiology technologists, who have a more advanced level of continued education and are well versed in one particular field of imaging.
Unlike most other careers in healthcare, a prospective radiology technician can pursue a career through one of three paths: a four-year bachelor’s degree, a two-year associate’s degree, or a specialized certificate program that takes between one and two years. The bachelor’s degree is the most traditional route, though admission criteria to a radiology program will vary between schools. The coursework for these programs will include subjects such as anatomy, radiation physics, radiobiology, and pathology. Certificate programs are useful for people who are already working in the medical field but want to switch disciplines. These programs are available in hospitals, community colleges, and technical schools. The associate’s degree is the most popular option for radiology techs and is offered at most private and community colleges. Schools offering these courses must be certified by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT).
Although radiology technicians specialize in operating imaging devices, that does not mean they do not interact with patients. Radiology technicians are often the ones who help prepare patients for their appointment by explaining how the device will work and affect them. Myths surrounding imaging devices make it necessary that a technician understands how to help a patient feel comfortable. Sometimes, the technician may need to apply a topical balm or inject a contrast solution to help improve the quality of the images. Once the procedure finishes, the radiology technician reviews the results with radiologists and may also be responsible for updating a patient’s records.
Employer demand for radiology technicians is expected to grow at a faster than average rate at 21% up until 2022. Those who are certified to work with a broad range of machines are often compensated higher than average. The work environment and technology available will depend on the area a radiology technician will work in – for example, hospitals in cities will often have more advanced devices than those in rural areas. Ardor Health Solutions lists job placements for radiology technicians around the country. View available careers on our website today, or call 855-GO-ARDOR for more details.