A radiographer (also referred to as x-ray technologist) is part of the professional team of radiologic technologists which includes Computer Tomography technologists, Magnetic Resonance Imaging technologists, Nuclear Medicine technologists, Radiation Therapists. Interventional Cardiovascular technologists, and several other radiology related imaging specialists. They are health care professionals who utilize patient care skills and highly sophisticated imaging equipment to deliver a controlled amount of radiation, in the diagnostic area of the radiology department, to detect foreign mater, bone fractures, or pathological disease processes in humans. Radiographers work in health care settings such as hospitals, clinics, medical offices and on mobile units. Radiographers, when in hospital settings, may be asked to take images in areas such as surgery, emergency rooms, patient care floors and the morgue. Additionally, they work with patients of all ages (birth through death) who are in all stages of wellness, injury, and illness.
Radiographer's responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Taking care of patients and their needs before, during and after radiography procedures, including recognition of emergency situations and knowledge of emergency treatments.
- Positioning the patient for various procedures during medical x-ray imaging in order to demonstrate all areas of the body on imagining devices.
- Assessing radiographic images for quality and diagnostic value
- Protecting patients, themselves and others from unnecessary exposure to ionizing radiation.
Being a part of this health care profession can be both exciting and rewarding. It takes very special people to be a part of the team. Some helpful personal qualities you should possess include the following:
- Sympathetic & Understanding Manner
- Accuracy & Thoroughness with Job Responsibilities
- A Strong Sense of Curiosity
- Enjoyment in Work with People and as Part of Team
- Emotional Maturity & Stability
- Ability to Follow Instructions (written & verbal)
- Ability to be Organized and Flexible
- Ability to Work Independently & Problem Solve
Demand for Radiographers
Currently national professional organizations are projecting continued growth for the next few years, and there currently appears to be a shortage of qualified radiographers nationwide. The majority of jobs available are in mobile radiography or in hospitals. Full time positions are plentiful as are part time or per diem jobs occurring mostly during weekends and evening shifts. Additionally, in the state of Massachusetts, HMO’s and clinics are fast becoming a major source for job placement. Radiography offers a varied source for expansion and growth personally, through imaging modalities such as mammography, Computer Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging and other areas of radiology such as Quality Assurance, Radiation Therapy, Nuclear Medicine, research, and administration and supervision, and education.
Further career outlook information can be accessed at the following websites:
- Occupational Outlook Statistics
Entry Level Salaries:
$23 - 28/ hour
Benefits packages, when employed in hospital settings, usually include: Health and Dental Insurance, holiday pay, accrued sick time, tuition reimbursement and 401K.