Radiology technicians are responsible for obtaining clear and accurate images of the different parts of the body to help physicians arrive at a diagnosis and treatment of different medical conditions.
What is radiology technician, what do they do ?
Radiology technicians are mainly responsible for helping radiologists in image processing, which is necessary for a physician to arrive at a diagnosis. They have to take pictures of the patient’s body using different imaging methods, such as mammography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), basic X-ray, computed tomography (CT), and fluoroscopy. They ensure that the patients are safe and comfortable during the imaging process. Radiology technicians may also need to explain the procedure in the simplest terms possible to the patients to pacify their anxiety. But the most important role of a radiology technician is to produce a clear image of the body part for the physician to provide a correct diagnosis. They have to guide the patients about what to do with each step in the procedure to do their job well and obtain a high quality image.
It is their job to instruct the patients about removing clothing, jewelry or anything that could cause the imaging equipment not to function properly. They also position the patients properly while preventing overexposure. There are times when they have to inject iodine- and barium-based contrast images to get better image quality. Radiology technicians then focus the equipment on the specific part of the patient’s body and capture the images on film or digital file. They go over the resulting images with the radiologists and decide whether they got the right image or need additional views. They are also tasked with updating patient records and looking after the imaging equipment. Check also radiology technician educational requirements and training.
Main Responsibilities of radiology technician
To have a clear idea of what a radiology technician needs to do, here is a list of the primary responsibilities of these technicians:
- Prepare patients for the diagnostic imaging exam.
- Read the physician’s notes about the reason behind the imaging exam.
- Monitor and document medical histories.
- Produce images of the parts of the patient’s body that will be used in diagnosing medical conditions.
- Instruct the patients on removing certain clothes and jewelry.
- Explain the imaging procedure to the patient.
- Identify whether the patient is severely anxious and claustrophobic.
- Direct the patient’s position to get the proper image of that specific part of the body that needs to be examined.
- Prepare solutions that the patients may need to help in getting a clearer image.
- Prevent overexposure by covering the other parts of the patient’s body from the radiation of the imaging devices.
- Set up radiographic equipment at the right angle and height, depending on what part of the patient’s body needs to be radiographed.
- Measure the thickness of the body part that has to be radiographed.
- Change the control on the machine to produce correct images of the detail, density, and contrast of the specific body part.
- Manage patient records.
- Maintain the radiography equipment.
- Manage work schedules.
Work Environment of radiology technician
Radiology technicians are usually employed in clinics, hospitals, private physician offices, imaging centers, and mobile imaging service centers. The hospitals are their biggest employers. Radiology technicians often work 40 hours a week, although some only provide weekend work or on-call night duty.