X-ray Technicians also known as Radiologic Technicians or Radiographers take x-rays of certain parts of the patient’s body for diagnostic examination. These x-ray films allow the radiologist to study the area to find various medical problems.
The X-ray Technician needs to prepare the patient making sure there is not any jewelry or other items that will block the x-ray. Put simply the x-ray cannot pass through these items. They also have to set up lead shields or other protection devices from radiation. This is for the patient’s benefit as well as to protect the X-ray Tech. Measurements will need to be taken and the controls have to be set per the doctor’s instructions. The radiographic equipment has to be positioned at exactly the correct angle and at the right height over the patient’s body. They have to conform to regulation standards and follow the physician’s orders exactly in order to protect the patient, themselves, and even their coworkers from possible harmful amounts of radiation exposure. Adjusting and maintaining radiologic equipment is also part of the job. They have to be in pretty descent physical condition since they sometimes stand for long periods of time. Lifting and moving patients may also be necessary at times.
An X-ray Technician uses particular articles which will help prevent unnecessary radiation exposure too. These include gloves, lead aprons, and other shielding devices. It is also important to monitor exposure to radiation. There are instruments used specifically for this purpose in the radiation department. The X-ray Tech will have a badge that measures the radiation level in the radiation zone. In addition a record is kept of the technician’s increasing lifetime collective dose.
Federal legislature requires that any operators of radiologic equipment be properly trained to use such equipment. Most but not all of the states in the U.S. A. also require licensure. But the requirements for licensure will vary in the different states so a prospective X-ray Technician should contact the State Board of Health for details pertaining to their particular state.
Formal training can be obtained through colleges, universities, or hospitals. The radiology student can receive either an associate degree or a certificate. The certificate programs might be a little shorter but it will still take close to 2 years to complete. However both program types can be accredited. Some of the coursework will include anatomy, patient care procedures, principles of imaging, medical terminology, positioning of patients, and medical ethics.
Radiography is a form of diagnostic imaging and in general, employment in the field is expected to increase over the next 8 years to about 17 percent by 2018. X-ray Technicians can advance as Radiologic Technologists. They would have to learn other types of diagnostic imaging such as CT, MRI, or mammography. Usually an X-ray Tech will be employed in a hospital but there may also be opportunities in doctor’s offices and in diagnostic imaging centers.
A nice career can be made as an x ray technician and salaries will vary depending on many things. Career experience can effect the average x ray technician salary, as well as your previous schooling, continued education, location and job demand. All these factors among many others will definitely play a large role in determining how much pay will be included in an x ray technicians annual salary. You can also expect top notch health and vacation benefits that will only add to this careers appeal.