Radiologic technology may refer to X-Rays, MRI's, CAT Scans, Radiology Therapy, or Nuclear medicine. It can also include diagnostic procedures such a Cardiac Catheterization, Mammography or Ultrasounds. Individuals working as technologists in these areas must be “people oriented”, considering the degree of personal contact they have with patients. These technicians can work in hospitals, Physician's offices, Imaging Centers and Outpatient clinics. The technologist can be required to work very long hours, as well as having to be available on an “on call” basis. Because technology in these areas are always changing, it is often necessary to stay current by attending classes in order to become familiar with new equipment and techniques.
Radiologic Technology Salary:
Based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary of those working in Radiologic Technology was $54,000.00 - $55,000.00. These stats also show a huge difference between the lowest and the highest paid salaries in the field. Figures show the bottom ten percent of earners made an average of almost $36,000.00, while the top ten percent were paid $75,400.00. As for what facilities paid the highest salary levels, Scientific research facilities came in first, followed by Specialty hospitals. Diagnostic Labs were rated third with Medical and Surgical hospitals placing last.
As with other professions, salaries paid in the field of Radiologic technology will vary according to the Geographical area. As for the average amount paid within a state, Massachusetts pays the highest annual salary at between $68,000 and $69,000.00. The state paying the lowest is West Virginia with an average annual wage of $41,000.00. If you review salaries by cities, New York City and Dallas take first place paying between $70,000.00 and $75,000.00.
Radiologic Technology Education Requirements:
Radiologic technologists must have a High school diploma or GED equivalent as well as obtaining an Associate's degree before entering a training program. Because of the nature of Radiologic technology, it is advisable to focus on subjects such as algebra, chemistry, biology and physics. Non-science subjects should be English, communications, computer science, as well as a foreign language. Candidates can choose from either a two or a four-year program. As with all fields within the Health care industry, both classroom studies and clinical experience is required.
As for courses directly relating to this type of technology, subjects taught in these programs include Radiologic sciences, Radiographic procedures, image analysis, Radiation pathology, drug administration and pharmacology just to name a few. After completion of the program, it is necessary to pass certification testing.
Radiologic Technology Work Environment:
Although the majority of Radiologic technology is performed in a Hospital environment, there are many other options for those who are interested in this field. Outpatient clinics, Physician's offices, Imaging centers and some Mobile companies employ this type of technology. Within the hospital the radiology is used in many different departments. These would include the Operating room, Emergency room, Critical care, and departments performing CT and MRI scanning. Regardless of the physical location, this type of work environment can be hazardous if proper protocol is not followed. The equipment used can be very dangerous if safety regulations and equipment is ignored. Safety issues can pertain to exposure to X-rays as well as radiation emitted by Nuclear materials. Caution must be taken to protect both the patient and technician.
Radiologic Technology Job Description:
Although the job description of a Radiologic Technologist is to use sophisticated Medical scanning technology to both diagnose and treat Medical conditions, the actual steps used to achieve these goals will differ according to the specialization. Along with a thorough knowledge of the equipment, technologists must be able to interact well with patients. There are procedures which involve injections as well as those which require establishing IV's. As for differences in procedures, Mammography requires the ability to review and evaluate film or a recoding plate in order to determine whether the images which were captured are of the quality needed in order to successfully diagnose the patient.
A Nuclear medical technologist employs a “Gamma Cameras” to produce the images needed. This is done through administering injections of various types of “radio-pharmaceuticals”. A thorough knowledge how to properly calculate the dosage of these pharmaceuticals is critical, considering the affect these isotopes have on the human body. Once the diagnostic procedure begins, the technologist must be able to operate the computerized equipment which will capture the images.
A sonographer must be knowledgeable with the procedures used in taking a sonogram, as well as being familiar with the operation of equipment used to produce ultrasound images. This technologist must have the skill to interpret the results, recognizing when the procedure should be expanded. Providing appropriate patient care is important, as is being able to effectively communicate accurate evaluations of the results to physicians.