Certified radiology x-ray technicians are not actually x-ray technicians, as they receive a much higher level of training. The correct job title is "radiographer," and they work in both private and public health care settings, more than half of which are hospitals, and perform imaging of patients' bodies to diagnose and treat various medical conditions.
Radiographers must know how to position patients appropriately for scanning, utilize proper safety techniques, and produce high-quality films for diagnosis. They must also complete tests and scanning in a timely manner and interpret the results to properly diagnose patients. Customer service, meaning respecting the dignity and confidentiality of patients, is a very important part of the job, and interpersonal skills are also helpful to keep patients happy and upbeat.
Those in this position may be responsible for scheduling and maintaining proper cleaning, inspection, and calibration of processors and other materials and machines. Quality control is a must, as well. Many radiographers work on an on-call basis which may include weekends, nights, or holidays, and should expect to work 40 or more hours per week and work constantly on their feet during the day. Not only do they work with radiological scanning, but also sonography and MRIs, so they must have exceptional knowledge in those areas, as well.
Radiographers do not receive any on-the-job training, as qualifications require proper certification from an accredited radiology technology school, though this varies by state.
Certified Radiology X-Ray Technician Tasks
Explain process and position patient for x-ray; adjusting restriction devices; moving and adjusting equipment to set exposure factors.
Determine patients' x-ray needs by reading instructions from physician.
Perform basic general x-rays of the chest, hand, wrist, forearm, elbow, knee, foot or ankle under supervision of physician.
Use beam-restrictive devices and patient-shielding techniques to minimize radiation exposure to patient and staff.
Process exposed radiographs using film processors or computer generated methods.