X Ray Tech Job Layout and Description

An x ray technician is a highly skilled medical professional whose specialty lies in the radiology department. Oftentimes, an x ray technician is also called a radiologist technician. An x ray technician prepares patients and takes x ray films of various parts of the body for diagnostic purposes. They can work inside hospital establishments alongside doctors, dentists and nurse practitioners or inside diagnostic centers that specialize in radiologic exams.

Those considering the profession need to be very good in establishing rapport with patients as they constantly need to communicate with people in order to get the best possible films developed. Sometimes, a patient can be uncooperative and the x ray technician needs to bring out the salesman in him to convince the client to remain in a fixed for a specific amount of time.

X Ray Technician Risks

When a person considers becoming an x ray technician, there are certain risks that need to be considered. Prolonged exposure to radiation without proper protective attire can cause the development of certain cancers. In addition, pregnant women are advised to stay as far away from the radiology room as possible. Following personal protective equipment protocols can aid greatly in preventing these risks.

An x ray technician can detect certain findings on an x ray film, but they are not able to diagnose the patient nor do they have the right to discuss the findings with the patient. They can work closely with the physician or nurse practitioner to find emergency problems, but it is not up to them to divulge any information to anyone. They are the first to see the films so any emergent problems that they see must be reported so it can be treated as soon as possible. Normal findings can wait for several hours or days to be interpreted by a qualified professional.

X Ray Technician Training

In order to become an x ray technician, you can find schools that can get you certified within 1-4 years, depending on your previous educational background. Medical professionals who want to add something new to their repertoire can join accelerated 1 year programs. 4 years of education earns a bachelor’s degree with foreseeable administrative positions in the future. Graduating within two years gets you an associate’s degree and is the most common option for many. Many two year graduates opt to earn voluntary certification through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).

Branching out beyond the x-ray room, the x-ray technician can learn to specialize in other diagnostic imaging fields. This include trainings in mammography, CT scans, CAT scans, and MRI scans. These trainings will ensure better salary options and better job security. The average income of a radiologist technician is about $56,000 a year. Those with flair for entrepreneurship can build there own businesses and earn better incomes.