Health care is a wide-ranging field of study and apart from the doctors and nurses most of us are familiar with, there are a plethora of career opportunities in this challenging and rewarding industry. Two of them are radiologic technologists, whose duty it is to carry out diagnostic imaging examinations such as x-rays on patients, and MRI technologists, who work with MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanners to produce diagnostic images of the human body that are then studied to pinpoint potential problems.
MRI and radiologic technologists typically have to maintain and adjust the equipment they work with and meticulously carry out orders from medical doctors on which areas of the patient’s body to image.
They also help prepare patients for imaging procedures; this usually includes making notes about the patient’s medical history and clearing up any uncertainties the patient might have about the procedure, and protecting the parts of the patient’s body that are not to be imaged by covering them with protective shields. A
fter positioning the equipment and patient correctly to ensure a proper image, they then operate the imaging equipment and take the images requested by the physician. Afterward, they meet with medical doctors to assess the images and decide whether more images need to be taken. They must also keep complete records of every patient.
Healthcare professionals utilize a wide range of equipment to examine patients. Radiologic technologists are specialists in the use of x-ray machines and CT (computed tomography) imaging. Some of them also specialize in mammography, where they use low-dose x-rays to create images of the human breast. It is also possible to specialize in more than one field.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual pay for a radiologic technologist was $54,620 in May 2012. It is safe to assume that the current median pay rate is much closer to $60,000 a year. The bottom ten percent of earners in this job category earned around $37,000 per year, while the top ten percent earned more than $77,000 per year.
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