A radiology technician begins work by reviewing a patient's chart to determine what x-rays are needed based on a physician's notes. This medical specialist explains the process to patients and positions them for the x-ray process, adjusts any restrictive devises needed, and moves or adjusts equipment to ensure the best image is achieved. The technician performs basic x-rays of various body parts including the chest, hands, wrists, forearms, elbows, knees, feet, or ankles under the supervision of a doctor. The specialist will use devices to restrict the x-ray beam and to shield the patient in order to minimize radiation exposure to the patient and staff. A radiology technician will them process exposed radiographs using a film processor or a computer generated method. Technicians will be able to read and understand medical charts and will be familiar with medical terminology; one will also have excellent communication and interpersonal skills in order to deal efficiently with patients and other medical staff. The primary educational requirement is to complete a formal training program in radiological technology. Program admission requires a high school diploma or a GED; sometimes an entrance exam and a background check is also part of the admissions process. The minimum degree necessary to get a job as a radiology technician is an associate's degree, though many employers prefer to see a bachelor's degree. As with any job in the medical field, a radiology technician can expect to work long hours that include evenings, late nights, and weekends.
Radiology 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.