A radiologic technologist is someone who works under the supervision of a physician, called a radiologist, and helps them with specific tasks. The technologist will complete tasks like operating MRI machines, taking X-rays and CAT scans, and assisting patients. They will also perform various other duties throughout the work day as requested by the radiologist.
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A radiologic technologist must complete a wide variety of tasks every day, such as setting up MRI machines, X-ray machines, CAT scan machines, ultrasound machines, and a variety of other radiologic equipment. The technologists also operate these machines; however, radiologic technologists do not make any judgements based on the images they obtain. They simply report these images to the radiologist. The radiologist, not the radiologic technician, is the one who analyzes the data.
Radiologic technologists are required to gather high-quality images and data. They are trained to recognize a clear, high-quality image versus one that is not. They are also able to answer simple questions that patients may have about the procedure, and help patients prepare for the procedure. For example, they make sure that patients remove all of their jewelry prior to a CAT scan, and also warn patients about potential risks and dangers to their health. They must work to protect patients from any unnecessary risks to their health by providing a lead sheet, when necessary, and taking any other appropriate measures.
Working as a radiologic technologist requires an associate's degree. This means that a person must first earn a high school diploma or GED, then enrol in a community college or junior college. It is necessary to have an associate of science degree in radiologic technology (a two-year program) in order to work as a radiologic technologist.