Are you looking for a career that pays well and gives you diverse options for growth and change? If so, then a educational program in radiography may be for you. These programs can be found at several institutions including Sanford Brown College.
There are two basic types of career choices in radiography, the radiologist and the radiology technician. A radiologist is a physician who interprets imaging films and performs advanced radiological procedures.
The more common career in radiology is the radiology technologist. Within this career many types of specialties exist. You could choose to become a CT technologist, a MRI technologist, a mammography technologist, or a radiation oncology technologist in addition to other choices.
While employment in a hospital is the most common, opportunities exist for employment in clinics, freestanding imaging centers, doctors’ offices or mobile radiology services. Some radiology technicians even travel from assignment to assignment with traveling personnel agencies.
Radiology technologists and technicians carry out a wide variety of duties and responsibilities within their job titles. Some of those responsibilities include:
Operate and adjust imaging equipment
Obtaining medical histories and answer questions that patients have about procedures
Position the patient properly to obtain quality images
Work as part of a team with a radiologist to decide if additional images are necessary
Carry out physician orders for imaging tests on the designated body parts
Prepare accurate and detailed patient records pertaining to imaging procedures
Radiology technicians work full time. Work schedules can vary and can include evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays. Because some radiography studies must be conducted on an emergency basis, it is not uncommon for the radiology technologist to be on call.
The radiology technician will spend a lot of time on their feet. In addition, they may need to assist patients in positioning or transferring to and from exam tables. For these reasons, physical stamina is essential.
Opportunities to advance both your education and your career abound in radiography. Radiology technologists may choose to become shift supervisors or chief radiology technologist. These individuals supervise and are responsible for a whole team of radiology technologists.
Another option for advancement is to become a clinical instructor or a program director. Clinical instructors supervise radiography technology students in hospital, doctor’s offices and freestanding imaging centers while the students are gaining their education. Program directors oversee the entire radiology technology program.
Effect on Society
In 2010, 219,900 individuals were employed in the United States as radiography technicians or technologists. That number is expected to grow to 281,000 by the year 2020. Since each technician’s median salary in 2010 was $54,340 the radiography technician career makes a significant impact upon the U.S. economy.
Additionally, the importance of radiography to the individual patient cannot be dismissed. Some diseases and conditions are discovered and diagnosed solely by imaging studies. Many types of cancers are also treated and cured with radiotherapy treatments, so the impact of a career in radiography on society is immeasurable.