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Learning About X-Ray Technician Jobs

April 22nd, 2009

Each part of the healthcare field is crucial and the need for radiographs and radiologic technicians is no different.  Employment projections for radiology technicians are expected to grow faster than average jobs in the next several years, so it may be a beneficial sector of the healthcare field to look into.  Radiologic technicians, also known as x-ray technicians, perform diagnostic imaging examinations.  X-ray technicians produce radiographs, also known as x-rays, of human body parts for use in diagnosing medical problems and issues.

X-ray technicians prepare patients for radiologic examinations by explaining the steps and procedures to patients, removing all articles of jewelry and other items that may affect the test, and positioning patients so that the area in question can be properly captured.  X-ray technicians position the equipment over the area of the body to be x-rayed and use instruments to measure the thickness of the area, to then set controls on the x-ray machine to produce radiographs that detail the density, detail, and contrast of the examined area.  X-ray technicians are also responsible for minimizing the amount of radiation that is exposed to patients by surrounding them with protection devices around the exposed area.  They must follow physicians directions accordingly and protect themselves as well from unnecessary radiation exposure.  It is also important that x-ray technicians prepare and maintain operating equipment and patient records, and may also be responsible for maintaining the radiology department and laboratories.

X-ray technicians must be in good physical shape as they stand on their feet most of their shifts and need to lift or shift patients being examined.  In addition to wearing protective shielding devices, x-ray technicians also wear badges that continually measure radiation levels to ensure they are not becoming overexposed to radiation.  X-ray technician candidates generally only need to posses a certificate or associate degree in the field to be considered in most hospitals, clinics, or diagnostic imaging centers.  In addition, x-ray technologists are expected to increase by about 17% by 2018, brining in about 37,000 new jobs.