The use of X-rays and other imaging tests makes it easier to accurately diagnose injuries and illnesses. A radiologic technologist is essential in ensuring these imaging tests are done correctly. Radiologic technologists are trained to perform X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, and other imaging tests, all of which allow doctors and other healthcare providers to make diagnoses and create treatment plans.
Is radiology technology the right career path for you? Handling this aspect of patient care involves developing specific skills and becoming nationally certified. Knowing more about this type of healthcare career, including what it involves and what it takes to become one, can help you decide if you want to be a radiologic technologist.
A radiologic technologist, also known as a radiographer, has the training and skills needed to take X-rays and handle other imaging tests that are used for diagnostic purposes. Radiologic technologists receive training in how to use X-ray equipment and other kinds of equipment used for imaging tests.
Radiologic technologists may perform exams that include having a patient drink a solution that helps provide clearer images of soft tissue or that require injecting the patient with a contrast dye. Technologists usually take patients’ medical histories and maintain patient records as well. When patients are ready to have X-rays or other imaging tests done, radiologic technologists ensure that both the patient and the equipment are in the correct position. Radiologic technologists are also expected to follow orders from doctors or other healthcare providers, such as performing a particular test or tests on specific areas of the body.
Radiologic technologists may also choose to specialize in other imaging modalities such as mammography, sonography, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and nuclear medicine.
Radiologic technology can be a good career choice for you if you’re interested in working with computerized and imaging equipment and working directly with patients. Becoming a radiologic technologist doesn’t require attending medical school for several years or earning a master’s or doctoral degree. As a radiologic technologist, the skills you learn focus more on radiographic imaging, advanced positioning, radiology pathology, and similar areas to obtain the images healthcare providers need to provide patients with an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan.
With the proper education, certification, and licensing, radiologic technologists can work in a wide range of healthcare settings. Keep in mind that while these professionals mainly work in hospitals, some work in doctor’s offices or outpatient care centers. This provides you with an opportunity to look for positions in the type of healthcare facility you prefer working in. Being a radiologic technologist allows you to combine technical skills with patient care skills.
Regarding salaries for radiology techs, there’s no simple answer. The salary a radiologic technologist earns depends on several factors, such as the type of facility they work in, the city and state they’re located in, and the amount of experience they have. View the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for more detailed salary ranges.
While salaries can vary considerably, the job growth for this career is steadier. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the increase in job outlook for radiologic technologists is predicted to be 6% from 2021 through 2031. The need for trained radiologic technologists to perform imaging tests, especially on aging populations, is among the main reasons behind this steady job outlook.
What kind of training do you need to become a radiologic technologist? You’ll generally need at least an associate degree with training in anatomy, radiographic imaging and physics, procedures, and positioning, as well as related knowledge of patient care skills. During this type of degree program, you can expect to learn techniques needed for performing imaging tests, including how to prepare, position, and care for patients, maintain equipment, and take diagnostic quality images. These programs also usually include courses on inpatient care, procedures and positioning, patient safety, radiation physics, equipment, radiation biology, and radiographic pathology.
After earning a degree, you'll need to become certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) in order to work as a radiology technologist. Many states, including Texas, also require licensing or certification for this career.
When you’re looking for a degree program to become a radiologic technologist, The College of Health Care Professions (CHCP) can help. We offer an Associate of Applied Science Degree Completion Program in Radiologic Technology that is designed to help students learn the skills and knowledge required for this career.
You will need to be a state licensed Limited Medical Radiologic Technologist (LMRT) in order to be eligible for the Radiologic Technology Associate of Applied Science Degree Completion Program at CHCP.
The Associate of Applied Science Degree in Radiologic Technology at CHCP is an online program that typically takes approximately 64 weeks to complete. The program includes a comprehensive ARRT Registry Review course, as well as a clinical education component.
If you are already an LMRT and want to learn more about our Radiologic Technology Program, please get in touch with CHCP today. We can provide you with program details and information about the admissions process.