Also known as radiologic technologists, x-ray technicians are healthcare professionals who specialize in using equipment to take diagnostic imagery of patients. In other words, x-ray techs help produce x-ray images. But there’s a lot more to this rewarding career.
Common Job Duties for X-Ray Technicians
Of course, x-ray technicians take x-rays of bones, soft tissues and organs, but they can also be responsible for taking other kinds of diagnostic images, including MRIs and CT scans. Before the actual imaging takes place, though, the radiologic technician usually completes a series of related steps:
- Verifying patient identity
- Reviewing physician’s orders
- Explaining x-ray procedures to patients and answering questions
- Putting patients in the right position, which could require assisting or lifting patients who have limited mobility
- Placing lead shields on the patient’s body to limit their exposure to unnecessary radiation
Once all of this is done, then the tech takes the x-ray image(s) per the physician’s written order. The x-ray tech makes sure the images are high quality and readable so the patient doesn’t have to come in again.
When not seeing patients, x-ray techs may be found:
- Consulting with the resident radiologist to determine whether further tests are needed
- Inspecting x-ray equipment and making sure the equipment is receiving regular maintenance as needed
- Communicating with management about malfunctioning or damaged x-ray equipment
- Compiling records of completed x-ray procedures
Do X-Ray Techs Specialize in Certain Types of Techniques?
Depending on what type of environment you work in, you may find yourself expanding beyond x-rays, MRIs and CT scans. You could, for example, specialize in techniques like mammography, sonography or cardiovascular-interventional radiology.
How Long Do I Need to Study to Become a Radiation Technologist?
Cambridge’s Associate’s degree program in radiation technology takes approximately two years from start to finish. During this time, you’ll take all the relevant coursework, plus you’ll get hands-on training through a clinical externship.
After your schooling is finished, you may choose to get certified with the American Registry of Radiation Technologists (ARRT). Not all employers require ARRT certification, but it can help you stand out as a job candidate.
Cambridge’s radiologic technologist training program offers a valuable combination of online class flexibility and practical, hands-on experience. With your Cambridge degree, you’ll be in high demand: employment of x-ray techs is expected to grow 9% from 2020 to 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Set Yourself Up for Success as an X-Ray Technician
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in the growing field of radiologic technology, consider Cambridge College of Healthcare & Technology. Our Associate’s degree program will prepare you for success. To get more information, give our advisors a call at 877-206-4279 or send us a message.