An X-ray technologist, radiographer, or radiological technologist is a medical radiation technologist. They are members of the allied healthcare team. With the of use ionizing radiation images of various body parts are produced including:
- Bones (chest, skull, extremities, etc.)
- Gastrointestinal tract
- Breast (Mammography)
- Blood vessels (Angiography)
- Fluoroscopy (real-time imaging)
These images are then passed on to a radiologist (who specializes in interpreting radiographs) to make a diagnosis. Several diagnosis can include fractures or dislocations. As a radiological technologist, you will be expected to work closely with radiologists, working on their behalf and as their advisor. Radiological technologist learn of many different diseases that can be evident on a radiograph and sometimes it is our job to notify the radiologist of our findings immediately. However, it is not within the realm of the profession to reveal these potential findings to the patients unless specified by the radiologist.
X-ray technologists can be found in hospitals, clinics, and in some countries even a doctors office. An x-ray technologist is required to explain the procedure to the patient and answer questions to the best of their ability. They must position the equipment and the patient properly to obtain an acceptable radiographic image. X-ray technologists must work safely and efficiently to prevent any unnecessary radiation to themselves or the patient.
Working as a radiographer allows you to work independently but also surrounds you with team members to obtain suggestions and general ideas. If you are person who wants to help people and enjoy working with technical equipment a career as an x-ray technologist might just be for you.
Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (2009). Scope of Practice. Retrieved from: http://www.camrt.ca/english/career/scopeofpractice
Standford School of Medicine (2009). Health Career: X-ray Technologist. Retrieved from: http://www.smysmp.standford.edu
Bontrager, K.L. & Lampignano, J.P. (2005). Radiographic Positioning and Related Anatomy. Elsevier Mosby, 6th Ed.
Statkiewicz-Sherer, M.A., Visconti, P.J. & Ritenour, E.J. (2006). Radiation Protection in Medical Radiography. Elsevier Mosby, 5th Ed.