ABOUT THE PROFESSION
The registered radiologic technologist plays an important role on the medical team by providing quality radiographs for a physician or radiologist (a physician who has specialized in interpretation of diagnostic radiographic images). As a professional assistant, the radiologic technologist functions to aid in the diagnosis of various abnormalities including fractures, tumors, and malfunctioning body systems.
Responsibilities of the radiologic technologist include adjusting radiographic equipment for specific examinations, placing the patient into the correct position, making the required exposure, and processing the images. In some cases mobile radiographic equipment must be used in the emergency room, in surgery, or at the patient’s bedside. Responsibilities may also include performing quality assurance procedures, record keeping, ordering supplies, and maintaining equipment.
The major responsibility of the radiologic technologist, however, is compassionate care of the patient. In a profession driven by technical advances, caring for the needs of the patient remains the primary objective. Compassionate care includes proficiency in communication, respecting individual rights, and maintaining safety.
The radiologic technologist receives the social prestige that accompanies a professional career. As part of the medical team professional colleagues might include nurses, lab technicians, physicians, therapists, and other scientific people dedicated to the medical profession. The knowledge and skills of a radiologic technologist serve an integral part of the medical community in the treatment and well being of the patient.
A profession in radiology provides a variety of career opportunities. The registered technologist (RT) is qualified to work in a hospital, a doctor’s office, a public health facility, a veteran or military hospital, or an industrial medical clinic. Radiologic technology is a dynamic field with more technological advances expected in the future. This field affords many opportunities for professional growth. An Associate of Applied Science degree in Radiologic Technology serves as a stepping stone for advancement into magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography (CT), nuclear medicine (NM), mammography (M), cardiovascular interventional technology (CIT), ultrasound imaging (US), angiography and interventional procedures, radiation oncology, and the field of education.