X-Ray Technician Jobs Alexandria VA
Silver Spring, MD
How to become an X-Ray Technician
An x-ray technician is a health care worker with specific skills in using x-ray equipment in order to take images of the body. These images can be used to diagnose diseases and injuries as they allow us to see inside the body. X-ray technicians may work in hospitals or doctors' offices. They may also work in rehabilitation homes, dental offices and radiology clinics. X-ray technicians are also known as radiographers or radiography technicians.
What does an X-Ray Technician do?
X-ray technicians use a variety of equipment to produce images known commonly as x-rays or radiographs so that doctors can diagnose or better understand and therefore treat a condition or injury. An x-ray technician uses optimal techniques to capture images and then assess these images to see if additional images are needed. They prepare the patient for the procedure by positioning them correctly, taking into account their medical condition. They may also develop the x-ray film. X-ray technicians follow strict protocols to avoid exposure to excessive or unnecessary radiation to themselves and the patient. X-ray technicians also keep patient records and adjust and maintain equipment. Senior x-ray technicians may manage the radiology department and other less senior x-ray technicians.
X-ray technicians may be trained and work in one or a number of modalities. It is very common for an x-ray technician to specialize in one area of radiology. Diagnostic radiography looks at bones and the cardiovascular system. Sonography is used primarily in obstetrics, and cardiovascular and muscular scanning. CT scans (computerized topography) provides slices through the body which can be extremely useful. MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) produces 3D images and can show all of the different tissues of the body. Nuclear medicine is used to see how the body functions and in some cases can be used to treat cancer. Mammography is used to examine breast tissue.
X-ray technicians are trained to see problems that may require emergency treatment and will notify the radiologist or other doctors if such a problem exists. These x-rays will be given priority in the radiology lab. An x-ray technician is unable to diagnose a condition and is under the guidance of the radiographer who diagnoses the x-ray and produces the x-ray report. Radiation is hazardous but the risks are minimized by the use of lead gloves, aprons and shields. Detailed records are kept by x-ray technicians to keep track of the lifetime radiation dose they have been exposed to. X-ray technicians usually work 40 hours per week and there are many opportunities for part-time work. On-call, evening and weekend hours are often required especially in the hospital environment.
What skills or qualities do I need to become an X-Ray Technician?
A keen interest and knowledge of science especially biology, anatomy and physics is necessary to pursue a career as an x-ray technician. Students sho...