As part of the healthcare team, the radiologic technologist plays a crucial role. The radiologic technologist, or radiologic technician, must pay close attention to the doctor's orders to produce the right kind of image, deliver the correct dose of radiation and position the patient properly. The physician always depends on this person to deliver accurate imaging in order to make a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. The technologists also works closely with patients during the imaging process, and they must be empathetic and kind, as patients are often in pain or may be nervous about a possible diagnosis.
If you are interested in this field, keep in mind that radiologic technologists aren't simply people who take X-rays. They have many opportunities for specialization after receiving an associate degree. Some areas of specialization include bone densitometry, computed tomography (CT), nuclear medicine and magnetic resonance (MRI). Whether you choose a specialty or not, you will become an integral member of a healthcare team.
With more patients having access to healthcare, and the aging population requiring more healthcare, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the demand for radiologic technologists to grow faster than the average profession, at 21 percent nationally through the year 2022. The American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) reported that, in 2013, the vacancy rate for radiographers was only 1.7 percent. In a working environment in which all jobs are competitive, having an additional certification (if it is not already required in the state in which you will be working) may give you an edge over other applicants. You will want to refer to the ASRT website for information on credentialing and continuing education, as well as the latest news and trends.
As you build your career as a radiologic technologist, remember to be a team player, and someone that others can come to count on for knowledge and expertise. In the healthcare field, you will undoubtedly work with a wide range of personality types, so flexibility and accommodation will prove important. Your attention to detail and commitment to your patients, as well as other team members, will help you to have a long-lasting career in a rewarding field.