Daily Routine of a Radiology Technician

So what are the daily routines and responsibilities of this occupation or the occupation of a radiology tech?
- So, We’re responsible to explain the procedure to the patients. So when they come in, depending on what it is that they’re doctors has ordered, it’s up to us to explain to them exactly what we’re going to be doing that day. Whether it’s specialized, a simple chest X-ray, a simple hand X-ray we still have to tell the patient what it is we’re going to be doing that day.
- Answer questions as fully as possible which also falls into contribute to patient education. So any time a patient has a question for us, or a doctor, or a nurse, or anyone who is working in the hospital may be asking: How much radiation is too much? Is it safe for me to be this close? Because radiation can be dangerous if you’re not using it properly and that’s part of your training, when you’re learning it in school, you’re taught what is safe, what isn’t and how to keep everybody else safe. On a daily basis we’re always answering those types of questions.
- Comfort patients and provide emotional support. A lot of the patients that we see have just been in a major car accident, or maybe they just found out they had cancer, or maybe their family member is the one who is really, really ill and they’re there supporting them. So it’s up to us to keep it when we are in the rooms with those patients and with those family members then we’re providing that emotional support to them, making them feel comfortable when they’re with us.

- Position patients and equipment correctly. So every body part has a special image that we can take of it. And we have to position the patient into different places sometimes it looks like, you know, extremely difficult for the patient to do those positions for us, but we try our best to explain it to them and help them in every way possible to get them into the position we need to get the right images for the Doctor. For example, a hand, there are three basic images that we do. Most of the time, most of the time it’s simple but when you break that hand it’s not that easy. It’s a little bit painful. Or your leg is broken. Or your pelvis is broken. Or your spine is broken. So sometimes we have to alter how we do things to make it comfortable.
- Ensure patients, staff and visitors are protected from radiation. So, the only patient that is allowed into the room is the patient when we’re actually taking the X-Ray. Family members are not usually allowed in unless it’s a child and we need the parent to stay with the child in the room. In those cases… Or we sometimes have to stay with the patients in the room depending on the procedure that we’re doing. Has X-ray Techs we do get exposed. However we do take precautions. We’re in lead shielding, we wear those heavy lead vests you see people walking around in, sometimes. Yes they are heavy but there’s different variations of them to make it more comfortable for us, on a daily basis, to wear them. As well, all the walls in the Department are lined with lead. So those people sitting out on the waiting room are not at risk. The Technologist that is going to take the picture that goes to stand behind the wall is not at risk.

 - Monitor patients during the procedure. Patient status can change. If it’s a critical patient we have to monitor and keep an eye on them. So I’ve has patients faint on me in the room. They walk into the room, they stand up to go to take that X-Ray, I walk away for two seconds all of the sudden the patient is doing this. I have to keep my eye on them at all times. In that case it’s my job to run into the room bring them down to the floor in a safe manner and call a code so that I can get help. This is just an example. Doesn’t happen every day. Don’t worry! It’s just an example to know that you always have to keep your eyes on your patient.
- Assist the radiologist for angiographic and interventional procedures. So that one image that I showed you earlier that had the vessels, the blood vessels those are actually performed by a radiologist who is a specialized physician in doing these types of procedures as well as reading the X-Rays that we take. We are there to assist them. We assist them with prepping the tray, it’s a sterile procedure, it’s almost like an OR. We prep the tray, we take the images but they’re the ones actually doing the procedure with the patient.

- And, of course we operate the equipment. Different styles of equipment depending on the type of procedure you’re doing. If it’s an interventional suite, like I just explained, it’s much different equipment than the one you would use in the room that we take a simple hand X-Ray. So you have to learn all the different types of equipment, or CT scanner, different types of equipment.