November 7-13, 2021 is National Radiologic Tech Week, which celebrates the work of one of the most important diagnostic roles in medicine today. If you’re not familiar with the job, a radiologic technician is responsible for capturing images inside the human body that provide physicians with information they need to diagnose medical conditions.
If you like working with patients and are intrigued by high-tech imaging equipment, this job might be a good fit for you. Here’s what a typical day might involve:
When you arrive
Radiologic technicians often work in hospitals. Several other healthcare facilities hire them as well including outpatient care centers, labs, doctors’ offices, and private imaging centers.
When a radiologic technician arrives on the job, the first step is to check the equipment and ensure that it is operational and ready to take clear images. Technicians work on a variety of equipment, including X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. Some technicians also work with sonography (ultrasound) and mammography.
Before calling a patient back to the exam room, the rad tech will review the instructions from the physician to understand what part of the patient's body will require imaging. They will also make sure they have their protective gear, such as shielding devices, to prevent them from radiation exposure.
Working with patients
When it’s time to see a patient, the technician provides them with a medical gown to wear, if necessary. When the patient ready, the tech helps them get into the correct position for the imaging, which could require lifting them.
Depending on the type of technology being used, once the patient is in the proper spot, the technician covers any areas that don’t need to be exposed to radiation with a lead-lined gown or blanket. Then it’s time to use the equipment to take the images. Once the images are taken, radiologic techs review them to make sure they accurately match the physician’s orders and are clear and can provide an accurate diagnosis. If it is not, they will retake the image. They will also label certain areas to give the doctor reference points.
When the patient leaves
Once the images have been captured and the patient leaves, a radiologic technician will print or send the images digitally to the ordering physician and or radiologist. They’ll also clean the equipment they used as well as the table the patient was lying on to prepare the room for the next patient. Then they begin the process again as they greet their next patient. Rad techs usually have multiple patients scheduled throughout their day.
If a rad tech’s role sounds like a fit for you, Fortis can help you prepare for this meaningful career. The program is available at many campus locations across the country. To learn more, please visit our site.