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. They perform diagnostic imaging examinations, such as X-rays, on patients. MRI technologists operate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners to create diagnostic images. 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 baccalaureate 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 the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). After completion of the program, they then must pass a licensing exam administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). The prerequisites for entry into our JRCERT accredited program include a High School diploma or GED and successful completion of an entrance exam demonstrating competency in math and science. Candidates will also have an interview with program staff before being admitted into the program and will be expected to pass a background check as well as a drug test. Many MRI technologists start out as radiologic technologists and specialize later in their career. Radiologic technologists must be licensed or certified in most states. Few states license MRI technologists. Employers typically require or prefer prospective technologists to be certified even if the state does not require it.
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.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of radiologic and MRI technologists is projected to grow nine percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. As the population grows older, there will be an increase in medical conditions that require imaging as a tool for making diagnoses.
Concorde Career College can help you realize your career aspirations through an Associate’s degree in the exciting, growing field of diagnostic health care. You play a vital role in supporting the health care needs and challenges of your community through a career in diagnostic radiology that supports and short- and long-term health needs and goals of patients. As a radiologic technologist, your daily tasks vary depending on the kind of environment in which you work. Concorde can prepare you comprehensively for successful entry into the field of radiology through comprehensive technical training.