There is no safe amount of radiation. Even small amounts do harm - Linus Pauling PhD, Nobel Laureate
image by: Radiologic Technologists Unite
4 Common Misconceptions About Radiologic Technologists...
1. No, we can’t tell you what we see in your x-ray. That’s called interpreting images and out of our scope of practice. We could lose our license for doing that. Plus, if we did….what’s left for the Radiologist?
2. We are not Technicians. Technicians fix the equipment. We are trained for two years on how to acquire diagnostic images through the skilled use of the equipment.
3. We aren’t “just button pushers.” That’s like saying pilots just “stare out the front window of the plane.”
4. I’m not a Doctor or Nurse. Just because…
No, we can’t tell you what we see in your x-ray. That’s called interpreting images and out of our scope of practice. We could lose our license for doing that. Plus, if we did….what’s left for the Radiologist?
In my two decades of rad tech experience, there are SEVEN dangers to this profession that I didn’t know about when I went to school.
My intent here is to share my knowledge and help mentor incoming Rad Techs or those interested in the field of Radiology.
Radiology Schools 411 is a comprehensive resource for prospective students looking to research schools, degrees, careers, and jobs in the rapidly growing field of medical imaging and radiotherapy
A career in radiologic technology can lead in many directions. Radiologic technologists are needed in every health care setting. You could work in a large hospital, a suburban outpatient clinic or a rural physician's office. You could specialize in dozens of clinical areas ranging from prenatal care to orthopedics. You could manage an entire radiology department, including its budget and personnel. You could teach, inspiring new generations of radiologic technologists, or you could perform research that leads to breakthroughs in diagnostic imaging or radiation therapy.
A certificate, associate degree or bachelor’s degree in radiology from a college, university or hospital program will prepare students to work as Radiologic Technologists and Technicians. In most states, a license is also required. Job opportunities are expected to grow faster than average and employment options will be best for those skilled in multiple diagnostic procedures. Hospitals are the biggest employer of Radiologic Technologists and Technicians, but physicians’ offices and diagnostic imaging centers also offer opportunities.
According to the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT), there are several educational pathways to a career as a radiologic tech. An ASRT wages and salary survey conducted in 2010 found that half of radiology techs currently working in the United States held an associate degree, about 28 percent held a post-secondary certificate, and about 19 percent had a bachelor's degree. However, starting in 2014, in many states an associate degree will be the minimum education requirement for these positions. Upon graduating, candidates in most states need to pass an exam to become licensed.
As more and more people retire in the U.S. every year, healthcare fields are seeing an increase in available jobs. For instance, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the medical fields encompassed by radiologic technology are expected to experience a “faster than average” rate of growth rate (between 14 percent and 19 percent) into 2018.
According to the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, there are 300,000 registered radiologic technologists in the United States. A 2005 survey of radiologic technologists reports the top reasons professionals entered this field: they wanted an interesting career and they wanted to work in a profession that helps people.
Certificate, Associate Degrees, and Bachelor’s Degree Programs are available for Radiologic technologists, ranging from 1 to 4 years in length. Programs are held in hospitals, colleges and universities, with the two-year associate degree programs being the most common. One year certificate programs are often available in hospitals for qualified healthcare professionals who whish to change fields.
An associate’s degree is the most common educational path for radiologic technologists. Technologists must be licensed or certified in most states; requirements vary by state. There are formal training programs in radiography that lead to a certificate, an associate’s degree, or a bachelor’s degree. Associate’s degree programs are the most common. Certificate programs typically last 6 to 12 months. Typical programs include both classroom training and clinical training. Coursework includes anatomy, pathology, patient care, radiation physics and protection, and image evaluation.
Most healthcare workers have that one go-to tool they use to measure the extent of patient illness or injury. For surgeons, it’s scalpels. For clinical lab technicians, it’s microscopes. For radiologic technologists, it’s three instruments: X-ray generators, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines. Myke Kudlas, chief academic officer of the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, says the profession’s unpredictability is its greatest selling point. “You’re never quite sure what the next patient is going to present,” he says. “Even if you’re doing chest X-rays, you might have somebody in a wheelchair, or somebody who can’t get out of a gurney, or somebody young and able to jump up and do whatever, but they are all going to be a little different. The variety in the work is very exciting.”
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