Are you interested in working in the health care field? Do you like working with people and helping them adjust to uncomfortable situations? Do you like learning how to use sophisticated diagnostic machines? If so, you might enjoy a career as a radiology technician. While the ability to work closely with patients is essential to this career choice, other skills include:
• Being able to move and operate large machinery
• Being able to show patience and understanding for people who are often uncomfortable or afraid
• Working well with other members of medical support teams
If you think you possess these traits, or would like to learn how, you will probably be a good radiology technician.
How to Become a Radiology Technician
Radiology technicians can obtain either a two-year or four-year degree. Certificate programs are also available and typically last no more than two years. Certificate programs are good choices for persons who are already working in another medical profession. Two-year programs are available at most accredited community colleges and are the most popular path for becoming a technician. Four-year degrees will prepare students for more than one radiology specialty, making them desirable to employers. In addition to their education, most states require radiology technicians to pass state certification exams.
The Duties of a Radiology Technician
Radiology technicians are responsible for producing x-ray and mammography images, conducting CAT scans, as well as producing PET and MRI images. Being a technician can be physically demanding, as you will need to be able to move large medical machinery. The ability to focus and pay attention to detail is essential, as you will be producing the images doctors use to make their diagnoses. And perhaps most importantly, you must be able to communicate with and soothe nervous patients. Working with patients requires everything from reminding them to remove jewelry, to positioning them for the xray or scan, to answering questions and helping them relax.
What Is the Job Outlook for Radiology Technicians?
The average pay for physical therapists is almost $56,000. Job growth in this field is expected to rise 21% over the next ten years, due in large part to the United States aging population. Most technicians work in hospitals, although other job opportunities exist in clinics and private doctor’s offices.