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    What does a Radiologic Technician or Technologist do?

    Posted by John Holden on Wed, May 13, 2009

    radiology technologist technicianThis post on Radiology technologists is written by Kat Sanders, who regularly blogs on the topic of radiological technicians at her blog The Heath Tech's Blog. She welcomes your comments and questions at her email address:

    Radiology technician job description

    If you’re wondering who a radiologic technician is, you’ve seen one if you’ve ever needed an X-ray or an MRI scan. A radiologic technician or radiographer is someone who:

    • Takes X-rays or a scan of patients to assist doctors in making diagnoses
    • Prepares a patient before the X-ray and explains to them what exactly they need to do so that the film comes out clearly
    • Positions the patient correctly so that the images are formed well
    • Are responsible for quality and ensuring that patients do not have any accessories on them that tend to compromise the X-ray or scans
    • Injects patients with non-radioactive material that aids the diagnostic imaging technique
    • Reduce radiation exposure with lead shields or by limiting the size of the X-ray beams by collimation
    • Needs to ensure that the diagnostic machines are working properly and that the controls are set at the right levels to ensure adequate pictures
    • Also performs a sonography, fluoroscopy, CT, MRI, nuclear medicine or mammography with additional education and training

    In order to become a radiologic technician, you need to:

    • Opt for subjects like biology, chemistry, mathematics, health sciences and physical education in high school
    • Earn at least an Associate’s degree in the field of radiography, radiation therapy or medical sonography. You could choose to go in for a four-year Bachelor’s degree if that’s what you want
    • Obtain a license to practice as a radiologic technologist by taking the exam offered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists in radiology and radiation therapy

    Technologists in radiology and radiation therapy Radiographers earn between $45,000 and $50,000 annually and are employed in hospitals and other healthcare settings. The ones who are more qualified because of their specialization in MRI, CT, angiography and nuclear medicine, do tend to earn more, so your pay packet depends on how dedicated you are to your job.

    Are you a Radiology technologist? Tell us more about your job. Please leave your comments below.



    Please refer to Radiograhpic Techs as technologists and not technicians. Technicians fix equipment and are not direct members of the healthcare team. Technologists operate highly sophisticated, technical equipment that requires several years to master proficiently. It is a pet peeve of many radiographers to be called "technician." Thanks!

    posted @ Wednesday, March 03, 2010 7:01 PM by Joel Saunders

    a state of ohio licenced RT is representing herself as qualified to supervise the care of a patient with terminal brain cancer. Is that allowed by her licensure?

    posted @ Tuesday, July 17, 2012 9:15 PM by polly wehner

    A RT licensed in the State of Ohio is representing herself as qualified by that licensure to care or and supervise the care of a terminal patient with a malignant glimoa fo the brain. Your experience and adivce is appreciated as to what to do re this situation.

    posted @ Tuesday, July 17, 2012 9:19 PM by Polly Wehner

    Do they teach in radiology sonography, fluoroscopy, CT, MRI, nuclear medicine or do i have to study each one apart?

    posted @ Wednesday, September 19, 2012 7:56 PM by brittney

    can u please tell me if a rad tech can perform a fistulogram inclding wires and baloons from begining to end without MD? i would appreciate a response ASAP!! it's a safety issue. please help!!!

    posted @ Sunday, September 23, 2012 12:07 PM by tdb

    Is radiology really worth the time in college . Will there be a job spot when im done with college.

    posted @ Thursday, October 04, 2012 11:24 AM by Stephanie Kervi

    Good 3 part article on this in the Examiner

    posted @ Friday, June 21, 2013 7:02 AM by Keegan

    Can a Registered Rad Tech be forced to perform CT scans without a CT certification in Indiana? They have limited training bc they worked in CT for a short period, but have since changed jobs and haven't done a scan in nearly a year. They also have no future plans to obtain a CT license or to pursue further in that modality.

    posted @ Thursday, October 03, 2013 1:34 PM by Michelle D.

    It is up to the individual hospital as to what they want their Techs to do. You do not need to have a license in CT to do it as your ARRT license will cover it. In my opinion, if that person has been an xray tech at that facility for a while, they can't "make" them do CT but they should stipulate that all new hires be trained in CT. A CT license is only advantageous for the individual tech to make them more marketable but not required.

    posted @ Friday, October 04, 2013 12:48 PM by Barb

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