What does a radiologist do?


Quick Answer

Radiologic technologists perform x-ray and computed tomography scans on patients in order to help physicians make diagnoses. They generally do not start out performing magnetic resonance imaging scans, but can work up to it after gaining some experience in the field.

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Full Answer

Specific duties of a radiologic technician are to maintain and operate imaging equipment, follow orders from physicians as to what area of the body to image, prepare patients for their procedure and cover the areas of their body that are not being scanned with protective equipment, position the patient correctly for imaging, assist physicians in evaluating the images and maintain patient records.

Radiologic technicians generally specialize in x-ray, CT or mammography. After gaining some experience they may opt to assist with MRI scans and eventually become certified as MRI technicians. A degree or equivalent military training is the minimum educational level for entry into the field, but each state has its own certification requirements for different types of imaging procedures.

Radiologic technologists are regularly exposed to radiation in the course of their work. Protective equipment, such as lead aprons and gloves, minimizes their health risks, but they are required to wear badges that measure their level of exposure and to keeps records of their cumulative lifetime doses.

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