Are you intrigued by the human body and want to work in a medical setting where you can take care of patients? Then a Limited Medical Radiologic Technologist program in Texas may be a smart move for you. But do you know the differences between a Limited X-ray technologist and an X-ray technologist? Let’s examine the differences in five key areas:

What do X-Ray Techs (RT) and Limited X-ray Techs (LMRT) do?

RT: As a Radiologic Technologist, you use specialized medical equipment to document X-Ray images that a radiologist will interpret and analyze to identify or manage a diagnosis. You're responsible for ensuring the patient is accurately positioned to get the clearest possible images and comfortable during the procedure. You may also have other X-Ray related roles like:

  •        Putting patients at ease during their procedures
  •        Properly positioning the patient and machine to get the highest-quality images
  •        Injecting contrast media agents
  •        Maintaining the imaging machines to ensure they deliver high-quality imaging
  •        Assessing and managing the radiation exposure of patients and yourself
  •        Obtaining vitals

X-Ray Techs are also known as Radiologic Technologists and X-Ray Technologists.

LMRT: As a Limited Medical Radiologic Technologist (LMRT), you perform X-rays of all bony anatomy. You’ll work in a limited scope compared to the RT, however, you can perform all of the following X-rays just as an RT can do.

  •        Extremities
  •        Skull
  •        Facial bones
  •        Vertebral column
  •        Chest

As an LMRT, you will perform many of the same roles of an  RT. The major differences are that RTs perform Fluoroscopy (this is used when performing procedures in the Radiology Department) as well as injecting contrast material and performing specialty modalities, such as CatScan and Mammography. If these things interest you, you can begin at CHCP with the LMRT program and then continue on into the RT completion program to enhance your X-ray skills and knowledge as you become an RT.  

Similar to the way doctors have become more specialized over the last 100 years, the roles of technologists are also being specialized to deliver the highest level of care to each and every patient. Both the RT and LMRT must learn to recognize and converse in medical terminology to communicate with the medical team they work with. They must also develop people skills that allow them to communicate with patients in everyday words so they can help the patient get the high-quality images that will aid their doctors in diagnosis and treatment.

Where does an RT or LMRT work?

Where could you work as an X-Ray Tech? You could establish your career in a hospital or outpatient imaging facility, but you may also work in an occupational medicine clinic, urgent care facility, or orthopedic clinic.

Where could you work as a Limited X-ray Tech? You might work in all the same places that an X-Ray Tech does, however, if the Hospital interests you, you will most likely find the LMRT jobs available in their satellite outpatient clinics where limited scope exams are performed.

As both an RT and LMRT, you'll be part of a skilled team of medical professionals who work together to provide the highest level of care to each and every patient. Without those high-quality images you will produce, patients may not get a speedy and accurate diagnosis.

How fast can you become an RT or LMRT?

LMRT program timeline: You can become an LMRT in as few as 58 weeks—a little over a year.

RT Completion program timeline: You can expect to complete the CHCP program to become a Radiologic Technologist in approximately 64 weeks once you complete and transfer your credits from the LMRT program.

Once you complete either program, you must take a state licensing exam and apply for a license before beginning your new career as an LMRT or RT.

You might also choose to continue your education and obtain your bachelor's degree in Radiologic Science Management or Healthcare Administration, or an Associates of Applied Science degree in Health and Medical Administrative Services or Health Care Management through the CHCP Online Division. Any of these additional degrees would go well with an RT license and would prepare you for a management role.

Most people find working a part-time job and attending an X-Ray program at the same time very manageable. You must commit to study time and make room in your schedule for the practical training.

It is important to note that, regardless of which program you choose, going to school requires a temporary lifestyle change, especially if you're already in the workforce, as many students are. During the program, you must stay committed to making that change to get through the program.

What types of courses will you take?

Limited X-ray Tech courses: Because LMRT is an entry-level program, you will take courses specifically designed to introduce you to the field of radiology and help you not only gain the knowledge you will need in the field, but to also prepare you for your state licensing certification exam. The LMRT program like the RT program will place you at a clinical site to complete your hands-on hours required for the program. Courses you will see in the LMRT program would include some of the following.

  •        HIPAA/ OSHA/ Infection Control 
  •        A & P, Pathology and Medical Terminology
  •        Radiologic Math and Calculations
  •        Radiologic Protection & Safety
  •        Radiographic Image Production and Exposure
  •        Radiologic Positioning

X-Ray Tech Degree Completion program courses: 
The education you receive as an X-Ray Tech is very well rounded. In addition to general education, you will take courses specifically intended to expand your knowledge necessary to succeed as an X-Ray Tech.  Courses you will see in the RT completion program would include some of the following.

  •        Psychology, English Composition and College Math
  •        Introduction to Surgery/Trauma/Mobile X-Ray
  •        Radiologic Imaging and  Physics
  •        Advanced Positioning and Anatomy
  •        Advanced Imaging - Fluoroscopy

As an X-Ray Tech in training, you will complete both online classroom and lab coursework and then an externships where you will practice what you are learning hands-on in a local hospital or clinic that partners with the school.

Who invented the X-Ray? Spoiler: He was color-blind.

The X-Ray was discovered in 1895 thanks to the work of Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen. While working on a tube called the Crooks Tube that was the precursor to fluorescent and neon technologies, he spotted a faint glow when he passed an electrical current through a very low-pressure gas.  

Historians speculate he would not have seen that faint glow if he had not been colorblind, highlighting the benefits of seeing and experiencing the world differently from others.

After some experimentation with the phenomenon in a pitch-black room, he passed the device over his wife's hand on a photographic plate and found that the shadows of her hand bones appeared on the plate. At the time, he didn't know why these rays did this and they had no name. The term X-Ray quickly caught on with X representing an unknown as it would in an algebra equation.  

Despite the differences between LMRT and RT, this beautiful and inspiring origin story is something you can both share.

What does it take to become an X-Ray Tech or Limited X-Ray Tech?

Regardless of which path you choose, several skills will help you succeed at what you do. Ideally, you:

  •        Genuinely love helping people 
  •        Like working in a fast-paced medical setting with other medical professionals, techs, and support staff
  •        Enjoy being up and on the move since both professionals are on their feet most of the day.
  •        Want to learn the technical skills to perform quality X-rays

Are you eager to start working toward a rewarding career as an LMRT? Visit us at CHCP to begin.