Rad Tech Salary, Education, Working Condition & Career

 To become a rad technician, one has to complete at least a 2-year associate degree from an accredited community college to be eligible to sit for the required professional exams and practice (according http://www.wikihow.com/Become-a-Radiology-Technician). Furthering one's education into a 4-year radiology program and even going further, greatly enhances one's chances of attracting more income for themselves and being entrusted with much higher positions and responsibilities as well. One is required to have a sound mastery of the human anatomy and physiology, some physics, radiology safety and dealing with patients without aggravating them in any way. There are clinical or practical sessions that one is required to take right after going through classroom courses to help them better their skills with dealing with the radiology equipments that they will encounter every day in their career.

Working Condition

 Unlike what most people outside the medical profession think, the working environment and conditions of a rad tech is very clean and exciting for all that would like to jump into the profession. A radiologic technologist operates very sophisticated state-of-the-art radiology equipment designed to take clear and accurate images of virtually any part of the body, and present them to physicians and other medical professionals for diagnostic purposes and further analysis of patient's health condition.

Salary and Benefits

 The environment is very clean, quiet and formal with many interactions with other medical professionals who rely on the radiological imaging to make their diagnosis or to ascertain certain kinds of medical conditions before they proceed further with their patient's treatment options. The salary for a X-radiation technician in the current job market, is in the upwards of $65,000 and is foretasted to increase (source: http://radiologytechniciansalarysource.com). There are bound to be some variations depending on one's locality or region of employment as well as their level of education and experience in the field. Whatever the variation, a medical radiation technologist should expect to have a secure job with a very steady and decent income.

Reasons to Become a Radiology Technician

 As the day goes by, similar situations continue to present themselves and just like the colors of the rainbow that can mix themselves into an infinite number of hues, so is the nature of experiences that come with this position, and it is very exciting indeed. Overall, this is a very exciting career that involves handling lots of technological equipment in a very clean and professional environment as well as dealing with other medical experts in a very fast-paced environment. It is true that the academic requirements or the college training to become a radiology technician can be quite a challenging or daunting task for many student; however, the benefits that come after competing the radiology program and landing oneself a job, are far much rewarding and over-compensates for the struggle. This is definitely a financially rewarding career with great job security and a really promising outlook not only in one country or locality, but all over the world. This is a really great time to become a radiology technician, and I really enjoy it.

Types of Work Environments

What are the different areas that you can actually work as a radiology technician? There’s really about two basic types of environments. There’s the hospital, at which there’s a variety, when it comes down to just the hospital setting. Rural hospitals, community hospitals within the city and some place like the Health Sciences Center, which is a trauma center, so we see a lot of critical cases coming through there. Or a clinic. So a clinic would be, you know, if you go to the Doctor’s office they give you a requisition, say go down stairs to the clinic and have a chest X-ray done. That would be your clinic situation. The clinic type of environment.

So at the hospital, you can see emergency patients. This is an image of a patient, of a resuscitation room at a site where there’s more than one critical patient and you can see – I don’t have a pointer on this on this. Here is an X-ray machine, it’s a portable machine that we can bring to the patient and take the images at the bedside, so they don’t have to come to us when they are that critical. We also have the in-patients. Those patients that are in-house, in the hospital, they come to us in the department, in the X-ray department or we go to them. In the hospital we also see the out-patients that come from the clinics within the hospital or off-site. And those I call the walking patients. They’re the ones that can walk in the room, pretty much do what you need them to do before it and them they’re on their way. And then we also have the special procedures, which I sort of touched base about already.

At the medical clinic, they see the out-patient. The walking patient, the majority of them come walking on their own and they don’t need a lot of assistance. Whereas the patients in the hospital need more assistance than the typical walking patient.

Radiation Protection

Here’s an example of that fancy lead shielding that we get to wear. Comes in a variety of colors, different styles, it’s very, you know, they’re trying to make them look a little bit more stylish, all the time. But they’re still leady prints, they’re heavy. But, for the most part, we’re not wearing them all day, every day. We do take them off in between procedures because you couldn’t possibly wear them all day, you would get a sore back. But they do variations of this, there are styles that have a skirt that wraps all the way around the body as well as a vest, much easier on your back because you don’t have all the weight on your shoulders.

An example of the control booth. So this is the area where the technologist would actually go stand behind the glass to take the picture and the patients are always “How come you get to leave and I don’t?”, you know? It’s because you need to have the radiation to see the pictures, in order to get the images. I’m protecting myself on a daily basis by going behind that glass.
This is just an image of what happens after. After we’ve taken the images they get processed by computer, go directly to an archival system in a network that we have at the hospital and a server, and then the radiologist can actually pull those images up within minutes to actually view them and make a report.

General Radiology Room

  These are just a couple of images of a general radiology room. And a couple of examples of patients being in that room with the technologist. The first image is actually a technologist positioning a patient for a chest X-Ray and the second one is an image of a technologist positioning a patient for an abdomen X-Ray. So you can see, sometimes we have them standing, sometimes the patients are lying down, sometimes we have them sitting at the end of that table to just put their hand out for us.
 This is a CT scanner so it’s still an X-ray machine but it’s much different. That table that the patient is lying on moves in and out. Those of you who have had a CT scan know what’s that all about. You lye down, they zoom you into this big doughnut, take the pictures, zoom you back out, so you’re all done. Takes about five minutes up to fifteen minutes depending on what kind of scan you’re having done.

This is a mammography unit. So those specialized images for the breast. Those patients who may have cancer of the breast or already do. This is the type of equipment that they would be using for that.

This is an angiographic suite or interventional suite. There’s actually two machines that are used at the same time. One that’s coming from the top of the patient, one from the side so they can take more than one set of… one series… more than one series of images at a time.