Radiologic Technologist – Job Description, Salary, Duties

Radiologic technologists are the professionals working for the health care industry performing a procedure for diagnostic imaging like x-ray examinations, scanning, magnetic resonance imaging scans(MRI), and computed tomography(CT) scans. While few technologists get specialized in cardiovascular-interventional radiography, sonography or mammography. Let us know about ‘Radiologic Technologist’.

Radiologic Technologist

They are responsible for positioning the patients accurately and make sure to produce a quality image for diagnosing the issue. They work closely with radiologists, who interpret the images for diagnosing the injury or disease. In order to get the correct image, the scans must be performed by a radiologic technologist. They must ensure to follow the safety regulations for the patients.

Employment in the field of radiologic technologists has grown about 21% from the year 2012-2022. As per the Bureau of labor statistics due to the growing older population, the medical conditions will increase as well which may lead to fractures and breaks that are caused by osteoporosis, this requires imaging. According to the survey conducted for radiologic technologists, one of the top reasons for the people choosing to work in this field is because this is an interesting career and also providing service to people.

To be a successful Radiologic technologist, one must have strong technical skills for operating the system for scanning, good interpretation skills so as to communicate with the patients and make them feel comfortable for the scanning process. Also, they must be compassionate about the work as it requires physical strength to lift heavyweights.

Responsibility- Radiologic Technologist

  • Providing information regarding the patient’s condition and helping them diagnose the illness by radiologic equipment operation and producing radiographs.
  • Identifying the service required by the patient through establishing a personal rapport with patients and other people involved to understand the process.
  • Ensuring operation from Radiologic equipment by taking the preventive measures in maintaining the equipment and its requirements on daily basis, following the working operation of the equipment, handling the troubleshooting part, calling for repairs of the equipment, equipment inventories, evaluating new techniques and machines.
  • Maintaining the supplies for Radiologic, checking the stock for determining the inventory, anticipating the supplies that are ordered, placing orders for the supplies, verifying the bills from supplies.
  • Following the federal, local and state legal, knowing about the requirement of new legislation, making efforts to anticipate future legislation, advising the management and reporting them as per the requirements and new legislations.
  • Maintaining technical knowledge and professional knowledge by attending workshops to enhance knowledge, reviewing the publication based on the subject, maintaining networks and participating in societies program.
  • Maintaining the environment clean and safe by following the proper rules, regulations and procedures.
  • Should interpret with the patient by reducing their anxiety during the scanning process and must explain the patient about the procedure so as to get the fear out of them and clearing their doubts.
  • Preparing the patient for the procedure, helping them with positioning, adjusting the device that is immobilized, positioning the equipment, adjusting the control of equipment to set the exposure of the body parts.
  • Ensuring to minimize the patients and the working staff exposure by practicing techniques to provide safety, must use beam restrictive devices, shielding the patients and the factor of exposure.
  • Must follow the protocols and instructions to reduce the spread of infection, followed by drug protocols such as the reaction of drugs like contrast media and providing first aid and the knowledge of using an emergency kit.
  • Maintaining the quality of radiograph and the production by following the standard procedure and thereby developing radiographs and making adjustments.
  • Charting the patient’s record in the department by providing proper service.
  • Must contribute to the team and put efforts to accomplish the task together.

The physicians mainly rely on the images obtained from MRI’s, CT scans, X-rays, mammograms, sonograms and many other imaging technologies to diagnose the problem accurately. This would not be possible without the help of a Radiologic technologist.

Quality and skills – Radiologic Technologist

Medical Skills

Radiologic technologist learns about the human anatomy, examination method, and protection from radiation and basic care for patients. A successful radiologic technologist must be comfortable with the human anatomy and must be able to interact with the patient to make them feel confident, able to position the patient properly and using the radiation safely. Here are the few medical skills required for the Radiologic technologist:

  • Assessing bone density
  • Application of radio-opaque contrast media solutions
  • Assessing vital signs
  • Computerized trauma
  • Basic life support (BLS)
  • Cystograms
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Positioning the patients
  • Sterilizing techniques
  • Knowledge of physiology and anatomy
  • Communicate patients clinical information
  • Performing magnetic resonance and venipuncture for contrast injection
  • Reviewing the quality of the image taken
  • Following safety protocol
  • Taking X-rays

Communication Skills

Being a radiologic technologist, one must be responsible for the layers of communication with the colleagues working and the patients. The job does not just revolve around scanning and taking images, but dealing with patients who are with suffering mindset, therefore one must interact diversely with the patients. They must explain the procedures and prepare the patients for the imaging as the patient might be going through different trauma like getting frightened or having a worst day or it may be even awkward or sometimes inconvenient for the patient. It involves the following qualities:

  • Compassionate with the patients
  • Comforting the patients
  • Explaining the imaging process
  • Consulting physician
  • Orienting staffs
  • Remaining calm with a disturbed patient and listening to their concerns
  • Training the students
  • Communicating with different age group
  • Documenting the entire procedure
  • Conveying the patient’s concern to other staffs
  • Listening to patients concern during the process

Mechanical skills

  • Diagnosing the problems in equipment
  • Maintaining the equipment 
  • Calibrating during the usage
  • Repairing if any malfunction occurred
  • Problem solving
  • Evaluating new technology and equipment
  • Mechanical aptitude

Educational qualification, License and experience

  • Require an Associate degree in radiologic technology from school or equivalent of two years experience in a related field of work.
  • Valid license from State Radiologic Technologist
  • Registered Radiologic Technologist by American Registry of Radiologic Technologist (ARRT)
  • Health care provider CPR for the professional rescuer certification
  • Ensure clean background and to clear drug screen test
  • Experience preferred for trauma, surgery and fluoroscopy

Salary outlook- Radiologic Technologist

The average salary for a radiologic technologist in the US is $60,901, which falls between the range of $55,501-$67,201.The salary depends on many factors like education, experience, certification etc.

The top-level radiologic technologist makes up to $37.60 for an hour and that of annually is $78,216.The senior-level radiologic technologist earns about $31.45 for an hour and $65,406 annually. The junior-level radiologic technologist earns $21.13 for an hour and $43,954 annually. The starting level employees who are at the beginner stage make $17.67 for an hour and $36,755 for a year.

The following table gives the average salary of Radiologic Technologist in various other states:

Salinas, California$110,180
Vallejo, California$109,680
San Francisco, California$103,670
Sacramento, California$97,450
Redding, California$94,120
District of Columbia$79,430

Work environment- Radiologic Technologist

According to BLS, there are about 60% of employees working at the hospital. Hospital is not the only option to work as a Radiologic technologist, there are plenty of other options to start a career. There are physicians office and private clinics that frequently employees Radiologic technologist. The other facilities having openings are nursing homes, care centers for out-patients, and diagnostic centers. Apart from the settings, the technicians are supposed to wear special equipment to protect them from harmful radiation. While most of the technologists work full-time, few for traditional business hours in the hospital and few during weekends and holidays. The individual working in a clinical setup can expect a standard work routine.

They must be extremely accurate with their performance as the minute error may affect the patient’s health. They have to match the speed of the equipment. Making decisions that have an impact on the patients. The work can be started without the higher official’s supervision. The work timings are usually bound around the patient’s appointment.

Common misconception- Radiologic technologist

There are a lot of myths regarding the work of Radiologic technologists. Here are the few wrong assumptions regarding them:

  • They just take x-rays: Generally, people associate Radiologic technologists with x-ray. Few may require training, as it has a wide range of specialties to choose like sonography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and mammography
  • Radiologic technologists and technicians are the same: They have different responsibilities and duties. The Radiologic technicians are concerned with preparing the patients for imaging procedures while the Radiologic technologist has a broad scope of work, as they have to follow a set of the procedure before performing the task.
  • Their job ends after capturing the image: Though they are responsible for performing x-rays and MRIs, they have to ensure to provide quality images and maintaining the equipment and assist the physicians while diagnosing.
Radiologic Technologist – Job Description, Salary, Duties

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