So you went to X Ray Technician school and completed your training, but now you're wondering what can you do with a radiology degree? What kind of X Ray Technician jobs are out there? What is the X Ray Technician job outlook?
Radiology is a branch of the medical field that involves the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions through X-ray and other diagnostic imaging equipment. As radiology professionals know, there are other ways to obtain medical images than through X-rays, including using MRIs, CT scans, fluoroscopy, ultrasounds, and radioactive substances. Radiology professionals are needed to operate and maintain all of these different diagnostic imaging machines.
Radiologist Jobs: How to Become a Radiologist
Radiologists are typically board-certified physicians who have received specialized education in radiology. Experts in obtaining and reading medical image, radiologists make connections between the results of the images and other related examinations and tests. Radiologists provide recommendations to other collaborating physicians regarding further examination or treatment plans and sometimes use radiation therapy to treat certain medical conditions. Like other physicians, radiologists must receive an M.D. or Osteopathic Doctor degree, pass licensing examinations, complete internships, and finish radiology residency programs. Some radiologists complete fellowship programs and specialize in a certain type of radiology, like cardiovascular radiology, chest radiology, breast imaging, emergency radiology, or pediatric radiology. Working mostly in office environments, radiologists read reports and interpret images in order to establish a diagnosis and provide recommendations to any consulting physicians. Unless they specialize in interventional radiology, radiologists typically do not interact directly with patients.
Radiologist Assistant Jobs: Becoming a Radiologist Assistant
Trained to assist radiologists with their daily duties and responsibilities, radiologist assistants help radiologists diagnose and treat conditions. After obtaining a patient's medical history, radiologist assistants perform radiologic examinations and evaluations before and after procedures, sometimes helping radiologists complete complex or invasive radiology procedures. Radiologist Assistants also will make initial evaluations of medical images, inquiring about the quality of medical images and providing radiologists with relevant notes. Under the supervision of board-certified radiologists, some radiologist assistants perform non-invasive procedures. Radiologist assistants must have at least a bachelor"s degree in radiology assistance, but most employers require a master"s degree. They must also become licensed by their state and obtain official certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). These specialized assistants can find radiology jobs in a variety of settings, including in hospitals, outpatient care centers, clinics, and other medical facilities.
Radiologic Technologist Jobs: Becoming a Radiologic Technologist
Radiologic technologists operate radiographic equipment to capture medical images. Radiologic technologists have more interface with patients, usually first explaining the details of procedures to patients and answering any questions. It is also the responsibility of the radiologic technologist to position patients and needed equipment as needed, adjusting the equipment to gain the best view of certain areas of the body. Moving the X-Ray equipment and modifying the controls, radiologic technologists also try their best to limit patient exposure to radiation through the use of lead shields and reducing the size of the X-ray beam. Some radiologic technologists use mobile radiology equipment, traveling around medical facilities obtaining medical images as necessary. There are many academic programs available for radiologic technologists at the certificate, associate degree, and bachelor"s degree levels. Like radiologist assistants, radiologic technologists must also obtain ARRT certification. There are many radiology jobs available for technologists, usually in hospitals. Due to the need of radiology imaging in emergency situations, some radiologic technologists work extended hours.
Radiology Nurse Jobs: Being a Radiology Nurse
Radiology nurses provide nursing care to patients undergoing radiology tests and procedures. Educating patients on procedures, they also offer treatment and provide recovery care. Following the instructions of radiologists, radiology nurses record findings from various radiologic exams, discussing patient records with radiologists and other healthcare professionals. Radiology nurses also sometimes assist radiologists with the administering of medications. Like all nurses, radiology nurses must complete a registered nursing degree and receive a satisfactory score on an official licensing examination. Many receive additional certification in radiology nursing and become Certified Radiology Nurses. There are many radiology jobs available for these specialized nurses, most often in the radiology department of hospitals and other facilities that conduct tests and procedures.
X Ray Technician Job Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the X Ray technician job outlook is pretty good this year, with jobs in the radiology field increasing faster than average, about 28% in 2013. Entry-level X Ray technician jobs only require an associate degree, so getting X Ray technician training seems like a fairly sound investment. Of course, the amount of job opportunities will largely depend on where you live and the quality of your education. Check out our list of the top X Ray Technician Schools Online.
What Can You Do With a Radiology Degree?
As you can see, there are a lot of things you can do with a radiology degree. There are a variety of X Ray technician jobs available, including jobs as radiologist assistants, radiologic technologists, and radiology nurses. You can also become an ultrasound technician or MRI technician.