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What does a radiologic technologist do?

A Radiologic Technologist is an important member of your radiology healthcare team. They administer radiology procedures, including x-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computed tomography (CT) exams. Some Radiologic Technologists also perform radiation therapy treatments.

Operating Equipment

The technologist may operate mobile x-ray or ultrasound equipment to obtain images in the emergency room, operating room or at the patient's bedside. Technologists work closely with radiologists and assist them with general radiology, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound procedures. They capture quality diagnostic images for the radiologist to interpret and record exam details such as the imaging techniques used.

Patient Care

Technologists work closely with patients, explaining procedures and treatments and answering any questions they may have. They accurately position patients for their exams and adjust immobilization devices to obtain the best views of specific body areas. The technologist operates the imaging equipment and checks the captured images to ensure they are of high quality for accurate interpretation.

Radiation Safety

The technologist is also responsible for radiation safety. They follow safety protocols to ensure that any radiation exposures for team members and patients meet ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) standards. The technologist may use radiation protective devices such as lead aprons and shields to minimize unnecessary radiation exposure. In addition, the technologist adjusts the x-ray beam to precisely target the area of interest and minimize scatter radiation.

Radiation Therapy

Technologists may work on the radiation oncology team as radiation therapists. Radiation therapists are highly skilled medical specialists educated in physics, radiation safety, patient anatomy and patient care. They administer targeted doses of radiation to the patient's body to treat cancer or other diseases.

Additional Information and Resources

ARRT-American Registry of Radiologic Technologists: American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT)

This page was reviewed on July 15, 2023


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This website does not provide cost information. The costs for specific medical imaging tests, treatments and procedures may vary by geographic region. Discuss the fees associated with your prescribed procedure with your doctor, the medical facility staff and/or your insurance provider to get a better understanding of the possible charges you will incur.

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