X-ray technologists work at hospitals, private practices, and other health care organizations, taking X-rays of patients to help health care professionals identify any issues that may exist and analyze patients' progress. Some ways X-rays are used include analyzing broken bones, performing mammograms, analyzing bone diseases, investigating heart problems, and looking at teeth for dental exams.
The specific duties performed by an X-ray technologist depend on the position and institution. Generally, in addition to taking the actual X-rays, the technologist also completes processing. In some cases, the technician may be required to write reports detailing suggestions on diagnoses - as well as whether further analysis is required - that are then passed onto doctors. Often, patient records and files are organized by the X-ray technologist. The technologist must keep the laboratory area clean and be able to help patients feel comfortable and clearly walk them through the X-ray process.
Minimum education requirements for this position usually include completion of a radiology technology program and subsequent certification. Previous experience in a related role may be required or preferred as well. X-ray technologists may work full time or part time, and hours vary depending on their employer's needs and hours of operation.
X-Ray Technologist Tasks
Monitor video display of area being scanned and adjust density or contrast to improve picture quality.
Review and evaluate film and images to determine if images are satisfactory for diagnostic purposes.
Explain process and position patient for scan; adjusting restriction devices; moving and adjusting equipment to set exposure factors.
Use radiation safety measures and protection devices for government regulations and patient safety.
As a trained technologist, operate radiology equipment to produce images of the body for diagnostic purposes under direction of a physician.