Becoming a Diagnostic Radiological Technician
Diagnostic Radiological Technicians use X-ray and other technologies to provide images that help physicians to diagnose and treat various health concerns. These skilled professionals ensure to produce accurate and quality diagnostic image of patients. Their responsibilities include preparing the exam room for x-ray examinations, positioning patients for accurate x-ray imaging, ensuring patient safety during the test, explaining procedures to patients, following physician’s instructions during the test, assisting in analyzing the image, maintaining medical equipment etc.
Diagnostic Radiological Technicians work at different environments such as hospitals, physician’s offices, medical laboratories, diagnostic imaging centers, outpatient care centers etc. They may also be engaged in private practices. They mostly work full time. Some of these professionals may require working in evening, weekend or on-call hours.
Educational Requirements may vary from state to state to become a Diagnostic Radiological Technician. The aspiring candidates for this profession must hold at least a high school diploma, followed by two-year associate degree program in radiologic technology from an accredited institution. Course work includes human anatomy, physiology, patient care, radiology imaging, equipment operation, medical terminology, radiation protection etc. However, the students can go for a higher degree in radiology or related areas for broader job prospects in this field.
Certification and Licensure
Since a Diagnostic Radiological Technician requires to be licensed in most of the states, the aspiring candidates need to pass a licensing exam and complete a state-approved training program. The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) offers exam based certification to these professionals.
In addition to a modest clinical knowledge, a Diagnostic Radiological Technician possesses various traits such as high level of attention to detail, excellent hand-eye coordination, ability to operate complex machinery, critical thinking abilities, high medical ethics, empathy towards patients, ability to work under stressed situation, strong physical stamina to work for long duration, excellent verbal and written communications skills, computer skills etc.
Job Outlook and Salary
The job outlook for a Diagnostic Radiological 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. The average annual salary of a Diagnostic Radiological Technician was $57,510 in 2014.