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A radiologic technologist is someone who works under the supervision of a radiologist and helps them complete their daily tasks. This person 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 needed. A radiologic technologist is not the same thing as a radiologist. While their names may be extremely similar, they have very different jobs. Radiologic technologists require a lot less education and have far less responsibilities than radiologists do. Radiologic technologists, sometimes called radiologic technicians, are directly supervised by radiologists.
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A radiologic technologist must complete a wide variety of tasks every day. These tasks include setting up MRI machines, setting up X-ray machines, setting up CAT scan machines, setting up ultrasound machines, and setting up a variety of other radiologic equipment. Radiologic technologists are also required to help patients participate in these exams. 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 technicians are required to gather high-quality images and data, though. A radiologic technologist must be trained to recognize what is a clear, high-quality image and what is not. They must also be able to answer simple questions that patients may have about the procedure, and help patients prepare for the procedure. For example, they must make sure that patients remove all of their jewelry prior to a CAT scan. They must also warn patients about potential risks and dangers to their health. They must work to protect patients from any unneccessary risks to their health by providing a lead sheet, when necessary, and taking any other appropriate measures.
All radiologic technologists work in medical offices, hospitals, or community colleges. Radiologic technologists are an important part of the medical support staff that keep hospitals and private medical offices functioning from day to day. Overall, polls show that most radiologic technologists enjoy their jobs and like knowing that they are helping people. Over the next decade it is expected that 61,000 new radiologic technician jobs will be added into the economy due to the rising age of the baby boom population. This is a 28% increase based on the amount of current jobs available, which is a faster growth rather than the national average for all jobs. This is also a higher growth rate than most other jobs, when looked at on an individual basis.