Are you one of the multitudes enrolling in college classes with a certain career path in mind? Only to graduate and then conclude that you chose the wrong path. If you are considering a career as an X-Ray Technician, there are details about this vocation that you should investigate before proceeding forward. In radiology, job listings are always plentiful, but that doesn’t mean those jobs fit you or vice-a-versa.
The Most Important Factors To Become An X-Ray Technician
When it comes to deciding on a career, are you following the misinformed masses? Don’t pursue any career without weighing your potentially new vocation. Your targeted career should not be influenced by non-factors that are not worth discussing. If your quest to become an X Ray Tech is to become a reality, you need to carefully evaluate these factors prior to making any commitment to this vocation
Job Market Statistics
What will the employment listings look like in three years? Five years? Seven years and beyond? You can obtain those statistics from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. They will help estimate how your future job search will turn out.
Adding to that critical information, you will need to research salaries for various positions. Many positions and careers in radiology promote upward mobility, cross training, as well as continuing education. Which means, although you are currently aspiring to become an X Ray Technician, this career path is only the beginning. Your education, skill sets, training and experience can dramatically increase your earning abilities in the health care field. Consequently, if you decide to pursue a different career path, the doors should open rather easily.
As an X-Ray Technician, your first and foremost concern is how you deal with and handle patients. Keep in mind, there is a mental, physical and emotional aspect of patient care. On the physical side, you may be required to help elderly or disabled patients. Meaning, assisting them onto and off of the x-ray bed; so make sure you are physically able to do this. In addition, if you work in a medium to high volume type of environment, it is important that you can stand comfortably for long periods of time.
There are inherent risks when working with radiation at any level. X-Rays are a form of radiation. This substance can be dangerous if health and safety procedures are not adhered to at all times, by all personnel. As a consequence, performing medical examinations as safely as possible must be a priority.
X-ray technicians must have a detailed knowledge of human anatomy, know how to accurately position the patient on the X-ray table, and understand how to enforce the best practice health and safety procedures associated with their subject and imaging equipment.
In terms of technology and science, X Ray techs are required to master many technologies and sciences. One such science is sensitometry. Here is the definition of sensitometry from cited sources.
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Related to sensitometry: sensitometric curve
In radiology, the procedure of measuring film response to radiation.
[sensitivity + G. Metron, measure]
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
A measure of a radiographic film’s response to x-ray exposure and processing
[Sensitivity + G. Metron, measure]
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012
In radiography, the use of densities on an exposed and processed film to evaluate, monitor, and maintain processors, intensifying screens, film types, and exposure systems.
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners
In summation, X-Ray Technicians will be using technology to ascertain the condition of the x ray images. This critical step helps them calibrate the equipment, to ensure that it is operating properly.
X Ray Technicians use a wide variety of imaging technologies, including, but not limited to:
- Computerized Axial Tomography (CT)
- Film and Digital Mammography
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Equipment
- Various X Ray Machines
Keep in mind that technology and science is always improving, evolving and consequently, ever-changing. This constant state of flux means that you will be challenged on a regular basis. How so? You will be challenged to learn new technology, equipment and medical procedures.
As an X-Ray technician, you may think that you’d only be working in a hospital. This isn’t always true! You may be working in a variety of environments, such as:
- Nursing Homes
- Cancer Treatment Centers
- Specialized Imaging Centers
- Physician’s Offices
- Private Industry
What Does An X-Ray Technician Do?
One of the key responsibilities of an X-Ray technician, obviously, is taking x-rays of patients. Additionally, x ray techs spend time explaining the whole procedure. Some patient’s may be fearful or anxious, and will need to be assured that the whole process is completely safe and that they will be fine. You will need to make sure that the room is sufficiently protected by lead shields. This step is needed to make sure the radiation doesn’t affect anybody except the patient. If you are an advanced technician, you may be expected to use advanced imaging techniques, such as fluoroscopies. As you can tell, becoming an X Ray technician will require dedication and determination.