The basic role of a radiologist assistant is to assist the attending radiologist during the conduct of a diagnostic, therapeutic, or interventional imaging procedure. The radiologic assistant may be tasked to prepare the equipment needed for the imaging studies such as the portable Xray machine in case the patient cannot be transported from the Emergency Room going to the Imaging Room. Moreover, he or she might also be the one delegated to secure the maintenance of all the machines which may include but not limited to cleaning, calibration, and repair services.
The radiologist assistant is also the one who would prepare all the materials needed during the conduct of imaging studies namely the films, the contrast, and other solutions needed in the process. In addition, he is also tasked to prepare the patient, get a proper history, and give the patient an over view of the procedure.
While assisting the radiologist, the assistance may be called upon from time to time to administer contrast, adjust patient positioning, or change the machine’s settings.
Radiologist assistant program workplace
Being a radiologic assistant allows one to work in various settings namely: hospitals, clinics, and imaging centers. In the hospital, radiologic assistants assist the radiologists in every step of the imaging or interventional procedure. They too are delegated to inform the radiologist in case emergency patients have been referred from other departments or other institutions.
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In the clinics, they may also assist clinicians in performing some imaging modalities such as 2decho for example which are often performed by cardiologists.
In the private imaging centers, most radiologic assistants are expected to conduct the imaging studied among walk-in patients and later have the results read and interpreted by resident radiologists.
Radiologist assistant program academic requirements
To be able to become a radiologist assistant, one will have to present a secondary school diploma to be enrolled in schools that offer radiologic assistant courses. While a lot of schools offer this, still there are some that might require the applicant to pass a given entrance exam or reach a specific GPA prior to admission, but otherwise only a one-on-one interview is required.
The training for radiologic assistant would usually take two year. After this, they are expected to take and pass the board examination given by the state both for getting the initial license and eventually license renewal.
Radiologist assistant program options
As with any other training programs, radiologic technicians may opt to go to school for two years and learn through a classroom-based instruction or they may opt to avail of online courses that can provide the same volume of info, however allows one to study at a more relaxed pace.
What one would choose may actually depend on his or her learning style, his proximity to a learning institution, and of course the availability of funds to be utilized upon enrollment or acquisition of the different modules.
Radiologist assistant program subjects
The subjects covered in radiologic assistant programs are topics that allow the students to be familiar with the basic principles in radiology, the equipment used in the studies, proper patient care, and proper conduct of procedures among others. These academic subjects, together with internship or practicum expose the radiology assistance students to the actual professional duties that come with the job.