If you are in need of medical imaging such as a CT scan, MRI, Ultrasound, or XRAY, you’re going to end up under the care of a radiologic technologist, also known as an R.T.
But what is an R.T., and what do they do?
A Radiologic Technologist’s Job:
Radiologic Technologists must complete at least 2 years of formal education in a hospital-based program, or a 2- or 4-year educational program at an academic institution as well as passing a national certification exam. They must continue their education to remain eligible for certification by earning continuing education credits. They are trained and skilled professionals who have been educated in anatomy, patient positioning, equipment protocols, basic patient care, and radiation protection and safety.
Radiologic Technologists work closely with radiologists to ensure that quality diagnostic images are produced for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Radiologic technologists often specialize in a particular area of diagnostic imaging. This can include:
Computed Tomography Technologists – These R.T.s specialize in the use of CT technology to obtain rotating x-rays taken in slices, usually focusing on anatomy at certain levels within the body. A computer stacks and assembles the slices to create the diagnostic image. CT technology allows physicians to view the inside of organs.
Magnetic Resonance Technologists – These R.T.s specialize in the use of MR equipment. MRIs use a strong magnetic field which is then exposed to a radio-frequency pulse to knock atoms out of alignment. When the R.T. turns the pulse off, the atoms move back to their original position, giving off signals that are then measured by a computer and processed to create detailed images in similar fashion to CT technology..
Quality Management Technologists – These R.T.s use data and information analysis to ensure quality throughout the radiology department. They perform quality control tests, monitor equipment accuracy and identify and solve problems associated with image production to ensure that the radiology department is working optimally.
Radiographers – These R.T.s are your x-ray technologists. X-rays are captured on film, computer, or video for various diagnostic reasons. X-rays can be used to detect bone fractures, find foreign objects in the body, and demonstrate the relationship between bone and soft tissues.
Sonographers – These R.T.s specialize in the use of sound waves to generate images of organs and tissues. They use a transducer which is placed in contact with the patient’s body. It emits sound waves that pass through the body and send back echoes. Special equipment converts these echoes into images.
R.T.s work closely with radiologists to provide accurate, quality images as part of a diagnostic and treatment plan to provide the best and safest care possible. Their contributions to maintaining or achieving patient health are myriad and invaluable.