A radiology technician, or radiologic technologist, works under the supervision of a radiologist. The radiology technician is responsible for obtaining radiologic images, which are used by the physician to determine diagnosis for their patient. The information gained from these images will also be used to help with developing a treatment plan. Radiology technicians may work in medical labs, public hospitals, private health centers, clinics, and many other types of healthcare facilities.

Radiology Technician Job Description

A radiology technician serves an important purpose in a radiology department. The main role is to assist radiologist with the process of imaging, and not that of diagnosis as this is the key role of a physician. Radiology technician job description involves taking pictures of the body while utilizing various imaging methods, which includes magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), mammography, basic X-ray, fluoroscopy, and computed tomography (CT). They are responsible for ensuring the patient’s safety during the course of the procedure. Technicians may be required to explain the procedure in layman terms to ensure a patient’s comfort. Most importantly, the ability to produce a high quality image consistently is crucial as this will help physicians to correctly provide diagnosis. To get a better idea on the duties of a radiology technician, take a look at the list below:

  • Instructing the patients to undergo the appropriate positions to get accurate images
  • Keeping radiographic equipment in quality working order
  • Obtaining images for any areas requested by the physician or radiologist
  • Using radiation on the patient if necessary
  • Managing work schedules
  • Keeping track of patient records
  • Assisting radiologists and physicians in the process of understanding and evaluating the images
  • Preventing exposure from certain areas of the patient’s body so they do not expose to radiation

How to become a Radiology Technician

Most students entering a radiography program to become a radiology technician usually have an associate degree (2 years). Some may even possess a bacherlor’s degree (4 years). The program consists of both classroom studies and clinical training. Course length will vary based on the particular degree that is pursued. It can range anywhere from six months to a few years. 

The classroom work consists of subjects in the field of chemistry, physiology, anatomy, biology, radiation physics, mathematics, and nuclear physics. Some other subjects that will be covered in detail include medical imaging, emergence medical procedures, computer programming, and nursing procedures. Training will be performed in a clinical environment to get a more hands-on experience. This will translate to a smoother transition into the workplace once the student graduates.

Radiology Technician Certification

For the majority of the United States, a radiology technician is required to have a license or certification before practicing. Some states may require applicants to have completed an accredited radiography training program approved by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Certification can be obtained by passing the exam issued by the American Registry of Radiology Technologists (ARRT). Once licensed to practice, technicians must meet continuing education requirement to keep the certification renewed and up to date.

Radiology Technician Salary

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Radiology Technician Job Description Summary

Here is a short recap of the radiology technician job description:
  • Responsible for obtaining radiologic images
  • Under supervision of a radiologist
  • Take 6 months to Multiple years
  • Requires licensure/certification in most States
  • 21% employment growth by 2022