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Radiology Technician

By an allied health world contributing writer

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Radiologic Technologists, commonly referred to as a radiographer or radiology technologists, play an important role in the field of Radiology. These professionals may conduct X-rays ordered by physicians, on a variety of body parts and bones. Radiology involves nonintrusive imaging using radiation, which helps a physician diagnose or treat medical conditions.

A common example almost everyone may relate to of getting an x-ray is at the dentist’s office. In these Radiology Technologistsettings, an x-ray tech is not necessary because dental hygienists are trained to take these xrays. However, radiologys are used in many situations outside.

Learn more about radiology technician degrees.

Clarifying the titles for this profession

The common title for these professionals is Radiology Technologist or “Radiology Tech”. However, the more formal title is Radiologic Technologist (many people shorten this to “Rad Tech” or “RT”) or radiographer. Also, the terms radiology and radiography are used interchangeably; although radiology is the more frequently used term today.

A Radiologic Technologist is a different job classification than Radiology Technologist. Some states have limited license that radiologic technologists can obtain through brief training. This allows them to take x-rays of certain body parts. They do not study the physics and other matters that technologists have to. For example, a limited license technician trained to do extremities only could work in an orthopedic clinic. Any other exams would be considered out of their scope of practice.

How do Radiologic Techs jobs differ from that of an Ultrasound Tech?

Although both Radiologic Technologists and Sonographers (commonly referred to as Ultrasound Techs) both fall under the larger umbrella of “Radiology”, the two are distinctly different. Radiology uses radiation to produce an image while sonograms use sound waves. Radiologic Technologists image the gastrointestinal system effectively while ultrasound technologists focus on obstetrical exams, but the two modalities complement each other by imaging the other body systems.

Learn more about radiology technician salary.

What do techs and radiologists look for when reviewing x-rays?

All necessary anatomy is included on the image so that the radiologist can read and interpret the x-ray. The contrast (shades of gray) must be accurate in the image in order to help detect pathology. Disease or abnormality may show up as a different shade of gray than the expected “normal” range. Some examples of abnormalities can include tumors, kidney stones, intestinal disease, and fluid in the lungs.

Radiology Technician Schools

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