Becoming a Computer Tomography Technician
Computer Tomography Technicians are trained to provide accurate diagnostic images of the human body through radiologic technology. They produce x-ray images of the body from different angles and cross-sections for a variety of purposes, such as locating internal injuries sustained during traumatic episodes. Their other responsibilities include recording patient histories, preparing patients and equipment for scans, protecting patients from radiation exposure, maintaining equipment, consulting with physicians, interpreting a physician’s scanning instructions etc.
Computer Tomography Technicians work in varieties of settings, such as hospitals, doctor’s offices, clinics, rehabilitation centers, radiography departments, laboratories, oncology centers, accident and emergency wards, operating theaters etc. They often stand on their feet for long periods and may need to lift or turn patients. They usually work full-time. They may need to work in the night, holiday and weekend.
These professionals need to use protective lead aprons, gloves, and other shielding devices to protect themselves from exposure to radiation.
To become a Computer Tomography Technician, the aspiring candidates need to complete at least an associate degree program in radiologic technology from an accredited institution. However, students can pursue a bachelor degree or any higher degree in the field of radiology for better job prospects in this area.
The syllabus includes anatomy, pathology, radiologic technology, imaging procedures, medical terminology, ethics, patient care etc.
Licensure and Certification
Since Computer Tomography Technicians require to be licensed in all 50 states, the aspiring candidates need to pass a licensing exam and complete a state-approved training program. These professionals can obtain a certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).
Apart from the knowledge in patient care and radiation safety, Computer Tomography Technicians possess various traits such strong attention to detail, ability to identify abstract patterns and organize information, empathy towards patient, high medical ethics, physical stamina to work for long duration, ability to remain calm under pressure, willingness keep privacy of the patient, ability to assist the patients emotionally and physically, pleasant communications and interpersonal skills, competent in computer skills etc.
Job Outlook and Salary
The job outlook for a Computer Tomography Technician remains excellent in USA. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities in this profession may rise 21% from 2012 to 2022, higher than the average for all occupations. The average annual salary of a Computer Tomography Technician was $55,910 in May 2012.