Radiologic Technologist Job Description
Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a radiologic technologist. You can use our job description template in this article to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a radiologic technologist.
Who is a Radiologic Technologist?
A radiologic technologist, also known as a radiographer or radiotherapist, is a health professional who treats cancer and tumors. By using high doses of radiation on a patient, radiologic technologists can shrink cancer or tumor cells of their patients until they are destroyed.
Although many patients need further treatment, this radiation can save their lives.
Radiation can also be used to take photographs of the body. Once a doctor has ordered an examination, radiologic technologists prepare patients for the procedure, which may involve shielding parts of the body from radiation. They then use special tests to identify the patient’s specific injuries and illnesses through imaging. These images can help the doctor diagnose and treat the patient.
Depending on his or her interests, a radiologic technologist may choose one or more specializations for training. Each area of specialization has different tools and types of radiation for specific use. Computed tomography (CT) techniques provide imaging similar to X-rays; the difference is that the CT image includes multidimensional views of the body. The job of a radiologic technologist has different divisions. Mammography specialists use X-rays to view breast tissue.
Sonographers create images of patients using high-frequency ultrasound, which is often used in obstetrics because of its safety. Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI is a specialty that creates a multi-dimensional map of a patient to study the tissues of the body. Diagnostic radiologists use cardiovascular and other types of X-ray imaging to examine a patient’s bones, foreign bodies, and cavities. Fluoroscopy specialists take real-time X-rays of patients.
Radiotherapy, or radiation therapy, is the actual use of radiation to reduce or destroy tumors and cancer cells. Finally, nuclear medicine uses radiation research to treat certain types of cancer, as well as to monitor the functioning of the body.
A radiologic technologist may work in a variety of settings, including hospitals and other medical centers, nursing homes, clinics, and laboratories. Although the requirements to become a radiologic technologist vary around the world, most places require at least an associate degree and certification, as well as periodic recertification to ensure that the technologist maintains and updates his or her skills.
The typical radiologic technologist works 40 hours a week, but some may work part-time or on-call. In general, the most lucrative specialty in radiologic technology is medical dosimetry, followed by radiation therapy. The lowest-paid disciplines are generally radiography and mammography.
Radiologic Technologist Job Description
Below are the radiologic technologist job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
The duties and responsibilities of a radiologic technologist include the following:
- Working with imaging equipment, such as X-ray machines or scanners, to obtain diagnostic images of patients’ bodies.
- Preparing patients for examinations by helping them remove jewelry or other objects that may interfere with the examination results.
- Performing diagnostic imaging procedures such as mammograms, ultrasounds, MRIs, and X-rays.
- Preparing patients for procedures by explaining the procedure and possible side effects.
- Using X-ray machines to take pictures of the patient’s teeth, bones, lungs, and other parts of the body.
- Taking X-rays of parts of the body, using fluoroscopic equipment that tracks the patient’s position for a few seconds to ensure a clear and sharp image.
- Working with computed tomography (CT) machines, which produce three-dimensional images of organs and body structures.
- Following the doctor’s instructions as to the area of the patient’s body to be imaged.
- Talking to the patient about the procedure and answering questions to reduce anxiety.
- Positioning the patient correctly and adjusting the imaging equipment to the correct position.
- Avoiding unnecessary exposure for both yourself and the patient.
- Following correct techniques and procedures such as patient protection.
- Keeping correct patient records
- Maintaining a stock of radiology supplies by checking stocks, anticipating future needs, and placing orders.
- Maintaining a safe and clean working environment
- Taking patient histories.
- Preparing solutions for the patient to drink.
- Surrounding the radiation area with radiation protection equipment.
- Position the X-ray equipment at the correct angle and height above the appropriate area of the patient’s body.
- Measuring the thickness of the area to be radiographed.
- Adjusting the controls of the x-ray machine to produce x-rays with appropriate density, detail, and contrast of the body area.
- Maintaining patient records.
- Setting up and maintaining equipment.
- Purchasing equipment.
- Managing radiology departments.
- Dictating work schedules.
There are some requirements to become a radiologic technologist, which may include:
A radiologic technologist usually requires an associate’s degree or a graduate certificate. These programs are usually offered at community colleges and technical schools and take approximately two years to complete. Subjects taught in these programs include anatomy, physiology, medical ethics, radiation physics, and radiation biology.
Education and Experience
Radiologic technologists receive most of their training in educational programs. During these programs, students receive hands-on training in the use of imaging equipment and proper patient positioning. They also learn how to properly clean and sterilize equipment.
Radiologic technologists may also receive on-the-job training from their employers. This training may include learning about imaging software and computer systems and hospital sterilization procedures.
Certifications and licenses
To work in the United States, a radiologic technologist must be certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.
Organization is the ability to keep track of multiple tasks and resources. Radiologic technologists often have many responsibilities at once, so they need to be organized. This skill allows them to effectively prioritize their work and ensure that all necessary steps in a procedure or task are completed. It also helps them to stay on time when dealing with patients.
Communication is the ability to communicate information concisely and clearly. Radiologic technologists must be able to communicate with patients, doctors, and other members of the medical team. They must also be able to explain technical processes understandably so that patients know what to expect during procedures.
- Attention to detail
Radiologic technologists must pay attention to detail when reading and interpreting medical images. They are responsible for accurately identifying any abnormalities or disease processes that may require further testing, treatment, or follow-up. In addition, attention to detail can help radiologic technologists ensure the safety of their patients by performing procedures correctly and following all necessary precautions during the procedure.
- Anatomy and Physiology
Anatomy and physiology deal with the study of how the body works. This includes knowledge of the different systems of the body, such as the nervous system, the digestive system, and the circulatory system. It also involves understanding how each part of the body works.
Leadership qualities involve the ability to motivate and guide others. Radiologic technologists often work in teams with other healthcare professionals, so it is important to be a strong leader who can help your team achieve its goals. You may also be required to set an example by training new staff or students in the correct use of equipment.
- Interpersonal skills
Radiologic technologists work with patients and other healthcare professionals to provide the best possible patient care. Strong interpersonal skills can help you build relationships with others in the healthcare field, which can make your work more enjoyable and productive. You may also have to interact with patients who are nervous or anxious about the imaging procedure, so it is important to be able to reassure them and explain the procedure in detail.
- Digital imaging
Digital imaging is the process of taking images in a digital format. Radiologic technologists use digital imaging to take images of patients’ bodies before and after procedures, allowing them to track changes over time. This skill also allows them to store patient records digitally rather than in paper files.
- Quality control
Quality control is the ability to ensure that all aspects of a procedure are performed correctly. Radiologic technologists use quality control when performing procedures, evaluating images, and ensuring that equipment is working properly. Quality control ensures patient safety and can help radiologic technologists advance their careers by demonstrating their knowledge and skills.
- Image Analysis
Image analysis is the ability to interpret medical images and determine if they are normal or abnormal. Radiologic technologists use image analysis to examine X-rays, CT scans, and other types of medical imaging. They must be able to identify any abnormalities so that doctors can take appropriate action.
PACS, or Picture Archive Communication System, is a software that radiologists and technologists use to exchange images. Technologists need to have this skill as it allows them to communicate effectively with other health professionals. It also ensures the proper treatment of patients by ensuring that all necessary information is available.
- Patient positioning
Radiologic technologists position patients to ensure that they get the correct image. They may have to move the patient’s body to the optimal position for the image and then reposition it after the image has been taken. This requires attention to detail as well as knowledge of anatomy to determine the best position for each scan.
- Radiation safety
Radiation safety is an important skill for radiologic technologists, as they often work with machines that emit radiation. They need to know how to use the equipment safely and what precautions to take when working with it. For example, some machines emit more radiation than others, so the technologist may need to adjust the distance from the machine depending on the machine they are using.
- Radiographic Procedures
Radiologic technologists use radiographic procedures to prepare patients for imaging. These include preparing the equipment, setting it up correctly, and ensuring that the images are clear and accurate. Knowing these procedures will help you work more efficiently in your hospital or clinic and ensure patient safety.
Radiologic technologists must be patient when working with patients and doctors. They often work close to other people, so it is important that they remain calm and focused during procedures. Patience also helps radiologic technologists learn new skills or techniques more quickly. Learning new skills and techniques can help them move up the career ladder more quickly and take on leadership roles in the medical field.
- Patient care
Patient care is an important skill for radiologic technologists, as they often work directly with patients. They must be able to explain procedures and answer questions in a way that makes patients feel comfortable. Technologists also need to be aware of any allergies or sensitivities patients may have so that they can take the necessary precautions during treatment.
- Medical terminology
Medical terminology is the language used by health professionals to describe body parts, diseases, and treatments. Radiologic technologists need to know medical terminology to accurately interpret patient images and communicate with other health professionals. Medical terminology also helps them to understand what their patients are describing when they explain their symptoms or condition.
How to Become a Radiologic Technologist
If this career sounds like an interesting choice, here’s an overview of the steps you’ll need to take to become a radiologic technologist.
- Complete your primary education
Although attending medical school is not a requirement for becoming a radiologic technologist, Education is an essential part of working in this field. Most jobs require that a radiologic technologist have at least an associate’s degree from an accredited institution or program. This two-year program option provides radiologic technologists with the basic skills they need to enter the field quickly. Students must complete specialized courses and over 1,000 hours of supervised clinical work on patients.
2: Refine your skills
An associate’s degree will certainly help aspiring radiologic technologists secure an entry-level position, but this is only temporary. Those who hope to grow and advance in their careers should consider a bachelor’s degree.
- Get certified
Certification is required to become a radiologic technologist. For many aspiring radiologic technologists, this is often the last step, as experience in these positions is usually not required. According to Emsi Burning Glass, 62% of radiologic technologist job postings have no experience requirements.
Instead, many employers are looking for candidates with relevant training and the necessary certificates and licenses.
Where to Work as a Radiologic Technologist
Radiologic technologists work in hospitals, clinics, and private offices. They usually work under the supervision of a radiologist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders using medical imaging techniques. Radiologic technologists usually work full-time, but some may work part-time or on call. They may work evenings, weekends, and holidays, and overtime may be required to meet the needs of patients and physicians.
Radiologic Technologist Salary Scale
The average annual salary of a Radiologic Technologist in the United States and Canada is $78,138 and $67,285 respectively. In the United Kingdom, the average annual salary of a Radiologic Technologist is £37,713.