Is Radiologic Science Right for You?
Radiologic technologists use special equipment to create images of internal organs, tissues, and bone
The very first x-ray picture is of a woman's left hand. Her bones are clearly visible, as well as her wedding ring. The owner of the hand is a woman named Bertha Roentgen, and her husband, Wilhelm Roentgen, took the photo and is credited as the inventor of the radiograph (another word for x-ray).
Radiologic technologists, also known as radiographers, provide information that is used to diagnose medical problems. They create images of the inside of the body. Technologists receive instructions from doctors about which areas of the body they need images of. Doctors also tell technologists which procedure to use. The main types of procedures are x-ray and fluoroscopy. X-rays are pictures that show the bones of the body and internal organs.
Technologists prepare patients for these procedures. They explain these procedures to patients and answer their questions. They make sure patients remove their jewelry so it does not interfere with the machinery. Next, technologists position patients on an examining table near the imaging equipment. For some procedures, technologists must make sure that the patient is protected during the test. For example, they may cover parts of the patient's body with a lead apron. When conducting a fluoroscopy exam, technologists give patients a special solution to drink. The body absorbs this solution and technologists track its movement through the body.
When giving any of these procedures, technologists adjust the controls of the equipment. When conducting fluorosopy, they monitor images on video screens. Technologists monitor patients' during the procedures and report problems to doctors.
Radiologic technologists may supervise and train other radiologic staff members and maintain patient records. They may also be in charge of maintaining special equipment and doing inventory of medical supplies.
The following list of occupational tasks is specific to radiologic technologists.
- Get instructions from doctors about which procedures to perform.
- Explain radiological procedures.
- Make sure that patients remove jewelry or other items that imaging equipment cannot see through.
- Follow radiation safety measures to protect patients and staff.
- Make sure that only necessary parts of the body are exposed to x-ray radiation. Protect rest of patient's body with lead apron.
- Position patient on the examining table and arrange equipment so that images can be made.
- Monitor patients during procedure and report problems to doctors.
- Adjust exposure time and distance of x-ray equipment, using computer and mechanical controls.
- Give patients a special solution to drink for fluoroscopy procedures.
- Monitor images shown on video screens so that they can be seen as clearly as possible.
- Review x-rays, video images, or computer generated images. Evaluate the clarity of these images to be sure that doctors can read them.
- Supervise and train radiologic staff.
Common Work Activities
Radiologic technologists perform the following tasks. These tasks are common to many occupations.
- Assist and care for others.
- Work with the public.
- Update and use job-related knowledge.
- Get information needed to do the job.
- Handle and move objects.
- Control machines and processes.
- Communicate with supervisors, peers, or subordinates.
- Perform activities that use the whole body.
- Document and record information.
- Identify objects, actions, and events.
- Establish and maintain relationships.
- Evaluate information against standards.
- Make decisions and solve problems.
- Monitor events, materials, and surroundings.
- Inspect equipment, structures, or materials.
- Process information.
- Judge the value of objects, services, or people.
- Think creatively.
Information provided by: WOIS/The Career Information System at:http://www.wois.org/use/occs/viewer.cfm?occnum=100129#eo