Career Profile: Radiologic Technologist

Career Profile Radiologic Technologist

A Radiologic Technologist or Radiographer is a medical professional who performs diagnostic X-ray examinations to provide physicians with images to assist in the diagnosis of a disease or trauma. More than 50 percent of Radiographers work in hospitals while the remaining work in free-standing diagnostic clinics, physician group practice/clinics and surgery centers.

Radiographers can expand their scope of practice and career opportunities through additional specialized certifications.  These include bone densitometry, cardiovascular intervention, computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), mammography, sonography, and radiation therapy. In addition to the specialized fields, a registered Radiographer can couple their experience (of at least one year full-time clinical experience) and a related master’s degree to become a Radiologic Assistant.  This does require successful completion of a radiologist assistant (RA) educational program that meets the ARRT’s recognition criteria.

In order to become registered to practice, a Radiographer must satisfactorily complete an associate’s degree program accredited by a recognized credentialing agency.  After completion of the program, they then must pass a certification exam administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). The prerequisites for entry into our ABHES accredited program include a High School diploma or GED. Candidates will also have an interview with program staff before being admitted into the program.

The ideal Radiographer is an excellent oral communicator with both patients and colleagues. They are comfortable and efficient with old and new technology. Radiographers must have stamina to cope with long hours on their feet, physical strength to position patients, personal discipline to ensure patient safety, and a knowledge base of the appropriate operational protocols.

Radiologic Technologists will be some of the first responders to victims in the emergency room, and the work they do provides lifesaving information to the doctors.  Getting the right image is both an art and a science to the Radiographer. To get the images, Radiologic Technologists will strive to put the patient at ease. Thus, the resulting patient rapport coupled with their technical competence creates an instant relationship. The Radiologic Technologist’s work day and patient case load are very diverse and they take great satisfaction in their ability to keep pace and adapt.  Radiologic Technologists are life-long learners.  US News and World Report lists Radiologic Technologist as 32nd among the 100 best jobs