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What is Medical Radiologic Technology?
Medical Radiologic Technology is the area of study and employment that deals with the imaging of the human body for the purposes of medical treatment. Individuals in this field may use a variety of methods and techniques to obtain the optimal imaging of a patient, often varying the methodology used based on a patients suspected condition and the quality of their health. Due to the radiation a produced by the machines and substances used in this profession, it is important to note that individuals are tasked with increased safety precautions for both themselves and the patient.
Individuals seeking a career in medical radiologic technology may pursue studies at the associate or bachelor degree level, or through a certificate program. Most individuals seek education at the associate level, which takes approximately two years to complete. A bachelor's degree program will cover a wider range of methods and techniques, allowing for greater flexibility in duties, functions, tasks and employment options.
Courses may include:
- Radiation Physics
- Patient Care
- Imaging and Diagnosis
Employment is typically pursued available through hospitals, clinics, laboratories, care centers, and private offices. Due to the necessity of imaging in its variety of forms, employment is generally available and can be sought at multiple locations. Individuals may work extensive hours on their feet and may have a large number of tests and patients to deal with in a given day. As a result individuals that can demonstrate stamina and excellent patient communication are favored for employment. As noted above, individuals in this field should be prepared to take precautions in order to ensure their safety when while working, including the use of badges that gauge radiation levels.
Job Growth, Salary and Related Fields
Job growth is expected to increase over the next decade as the need for more professionals to perform imaging and testing due to the aging population. Newer and cheaper technologies will also allow for more individuals in offices and outpatient centers, creating more employment opportunities. The average salary is $55,000 per year for a medical radiologic technologist, varying based on location, experience and education.
Individuals interested in medical radiologic technology may also be interested in cardiovascular technology, ultrasound technician or magnetic resonance imaging.
The American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) provides individuals with resources for the advancement of the radiologic technology field, including publications and information regarding advancements in technologies and techniques to improve treatment and imaging procedures and provide career and continuing education assistance.
The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) provides certification examinations that allows individuals to demonstrate the extent of their skills in a professional setting. The organization was founded in 1922 and has worked to advance the field through recognition of ability since its establishment.