Today, we bring to you the perfect approach to How to become a radiologic technologist.
To begin, radiology is a branch of medicine that uses medical imaging to diagnose diseases and develop treatment plans for patients.
Radiologic technologists are doctors who perform diagnostic imaging procedures such as X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, and computed tomography (CT) scans. Some specialize in specific techniques like cardiovascular-interventional radiography, mammography, or sonography. Radiologic technologists are in charge of accurately positioning patients and producing high-quality diagnostic images.
They collaborate closely with radiologists, who interpret medical images to diagnose or rule out disease or injury.
The imaging examination must be performed correctly by a radiologic technologist in order for the images to be correctly interpreted by the radiologist. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment will increase by 21% between 2012 and 2022.
As the population ages, there will be an increase in medical conditions that require imaging to diagnose, such as osteoporosis-related breaks and fractures.
According to a 2005 survey of radiologic technologists, the top reasons professionals entered this field were that they wanted a challenging career and to work in a field that helped people.
Who is a Radiologic Technologist
Radiologic technologists may specialize in imaging techniques such as bone densitometry, cardiac or vascular interventional radiography, computed tomography (CT), mammography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nuclear medicine, or sonography. They collaborate with doctors and radiologists to create precise and detailed images.
A radiologic technologist’s job is to use an imaging device to capture radiology imaging on patients. However, they also have several other responsibilities to fulfill on a daily basis, which include:
- Getting patients ready for imaging exams and positioning them
- adjusting equipment to achieve the best possible image quality
- Some patients are being treated with radiation (under guidance from the medical team)
- Ensure patient comfort and safety during imaging
- Patients are educated and explained the imaging exam procedure.
- Following physician orders regarding which areas of the body to image
- Keeping medical records in the patient’s EMR (electronic medical records)
- Working with the medical team and other healthcare providers
- To avoid exposing themselves, patients, or coworkers to radiation, they must follow safety protocols and use shielding devices
- Sterilization and storage
Where Radiologic Technologists work
Radiologic technologists are most commonly seen working in a hospital on a specialized radiology unit. When patients require imaging, they are transferred to the radiology unit.
Some radiologists, on the other hand, can travel throughout the hospital to perform imaging in the patient’s room. For emergency purposes, some emergency departments have their own designated radiology rooms.
There are also opportunities for a radiologic technologist to work in a variety of other settings, such as:
- Outpatient imaging facilities
- Universities and colleges
- Doctor’s offices
- Diagnostic and medical laboratories
- Outpatient services
- Therapy Facilities
- Intensive care unit
- Triage facilities
- Urgent care facilities
Radiologic technologists are also sometimes in charge of staffing and dealing with emergencies. As a result, they may work unusual hours, such as weekends, evenings, and holidays. Radiologic technologists can work full-time, part-time, or on a per-diem basis, depending on the job.
How to become a Radiologic Technologist
Not every radiologic technologist takes the same path to success in their career. While some technologists may enroll in a two-year radiologic technologist program, others will pursue a bachelor’s degree.
Each career path is distinct, with rad-tech candidates coming from a variety of medical backgrounds. The following are the most direct steps to becoming a radiologic technologist:
Step 1: Complete high school (four years): Any radiologic technologist must have a high school diploma (or its equivalent).
If you want to work in the field as soon as you finish high school, you should focus on science and mathematics classes.
These will be beneficial in terms of future educational opportunities. High school students should also try to work or volunteer in a healthcare setting if possible to get a sense of what the career will entail.
Step 2: Apply for and enroll in a two to four-year accredited undergraduate radiologic technology program: Radiologic technologists may earn either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree to be eligible for certification from the ARRTAll applicants for ARRT certification in Radiography, Nuclear Medicine Technology, Radiation Therapy, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or Sonography must have graduated from a school accredited by a body recognized by the ARRT by June 2021.
ARRT maintains a comprehensive list of those accrediting agencies. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree rather than an associate’s degree does not increase an applicant’s qualification for certification. Nonetheless, it may aid in furthering one’s education or in locating and matching job opportunities. It should be noted that, while the degree must be obtained from an accredited institution, it does not have to be in radiologic technology.
Step 3: Apply for ARRT certification and registration (duration varies): There are no national licensing requirements for radiologic technologists, as previously stated, though many states have their own licensing process.
Most radiologic technologists choose to pursue ARRT certification to increase their employability and establish expertise. This procedure entails providing proof of an acceptable academic record, completing and submitting an ethics pre-application, and passing an exam that “assesses the knowledge and cognitive skills underlying the intelligent performance of tasks typically required of entry-level staff technologists in the discipline.” For entry-level positions, the most applicable certification is in radiography.
After gaining experience in this role, radiologic technologists may wish to pursue specialty certification with the ARRT in areas such as mammography, bone densitometry, or cardiac-interventional radiography. Radiography, nuclear medicine technology, radiation therapy, MRI, and sonography are some of the specializations available.
Step 4: Renew your ARRT certification every two years: Technologists must renew their certifications every two years, which requires first complying with all ARRT regulations, following the ARRT standards of ethics, and completing the required number of continuing education hours. To maintain their certification, renewing technologists must either earn 24 credit hours per year or be awarded additional certifications from the ARRT in other specialties.
Salary and Prospects for Radiologic Technologists
If you’re interested in pursuing this career, you’re probably curious about some important career details.
First and foremost, how much do radiologic technologists earn? And what is the field’s job outlook? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for radiologic technologists in 2020 was $61,900. This is higher than the national average for all occupations, which is $41,950, according to the BLS.
Earning potential varies depending on the type of facility in which you work. Outpatient care center radiologic technologists typically earn the highest pay. The following logical question concerns job availability.
According to the BLS, employment of radiologic technologists is expected to grow at a rate of 9% through 2030, which is faster than the national average for all occupations. This expansion can be attributed to the aging Baby-Boomer population, which necessitates more diagnostic imaging procedures.
Skills of a Radiologic Technologist
Radiologic technologists must have certain abilities.
Working with radiation and specialized imaging equipment may sound intimidating, but radiologic technicians also require a wide range of soft skills. You can gain all of the expertise you need to excel in this rewarding healthcare career with the right education and training.
Top technical skills for radiologic technologists include:
- X-ray/radiography equipment
- Treatment of patients
- Cardiovascular resuscitation (CPR)
- Control and quality assurance
- Life-sustaining measures
- Radiation defense
- Patient planning
- Patient education and training
Top transferable skills for radiologic technologists include:
- Relationship development Computer literacy
- Physical skills
- Writing Problem Solving
If you can identify with the transferable skills listed above, you may be predisposed to success as a radiologic technologist.
All that is lacking are the technical skills required to carry out the job duties, which can be obtained through a Radiologic Technology degree program.
Conclusion on the How to become a radiologic technologist
The job entails taking diagnostic images of patients in a clinical setting. A radiologic technologist’s images are typically captured using an x-ray machine or other imaging equipment.
While technologists do not interpret the images, they ensure that they are clear enough for physicians and radiologists to examine and use to make accurate diagnoses.
Furthermore, technologists keep sophisticated imaging equipment in good working order and enforce safety standards around potentially hazardous equipment. They also work closely with patients to ensure that they are comfortable and well-informed during procedures, treatments, or check-ups.
Frequently Asked Questions about How to become a radiologic technologist
Below, you will find the answers to the most asked questions about the How to become a radiologic technologist;
- How long does it take to train as a radiology technician?
There are one-year training and certificate programs for radiology technicians, as well as two- to four-year associate’s and bachelor’s degrees.
- Is it possible to train as a radiology technician online?
A number of accredited online radiology technology schools provide associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. You must, however, report in person for supervised radiologic technologist training.
- Are radiology technicians paid more than nurses?
The median pay for radiology technicians in 2020 was $60,510, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for a registered nurse in 2019 is $73,300, or $35.24 per hour.
- What is a radiologic technologist’s working environment like?
Most radiologist technicians work 40 hours per week. They may work nights, weekends, and holidays.
They may have to stand for long periods of time during the day to operate the radiography machines. They may be required to assist patients with mobility issues on occasion.