The career path of a radiology technician is bright. As the general population ages and hospitals and other health care facilities see an increase in the number of patients, an increasing demand for individuals with a radiology technician degree will result. An aging population is not the only reason why this field of study will be in higher demand. As the cost of health care moves even closer to center stage, other ways to lower costs will become the focus into the future. Outpatient centers, physician offices and imaging centers will increase the kinds of radiology services offered. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this will result in an increased demand for those with radiology technician certifications.
Radiology technicians have many responsibilities. Based on patients' medical histories and current problems, a radiology technician works closely with physicians and other health care providers to select what areas might need imaging. Often referred to as rad techs, these individuals must keep up with the latest technology in imaging equipment. Additionally, they must also be able to operate and maintain the equipment that they use to help treat patients. They may also work with radiologists to help read and interpret the various types of films.
As part of their job requirements, radiology technicians need to understand how positioning the patient and the equipment will affect the results, as well as how they can protect patients from unnecessary exposure. The knowledge of how to utilize proper equipment such as iron shields on areas that do not need to be a part of the film is an important step in the process. People that work in and around diagnostic machines must maintain strict safety guidelines to ensure that they do overexpose themselves as well. The technicians wear badges that measure the amount of exposure that they receive during a given period.
There are several types of diagnostic technologies that a radiology technician may use. A CT or computerized tomography machine, X-ray machine, magnetic resonance machine (MRI) or mammography machine are just a few resources that they might utilize. While there are many other types of technologies available, radiology technicians are able to specialize in particular areas if they choose to do so.