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What do X-ray technicians do?

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Quick Answer

X-ray technicians perform diagnostic tests on patients, including running X-ray scans, CT scans and MRIs; they sometimes administer dyes and drinks to patients for scans requiring contrast images. X-ray technicians work in traditional clinical settings, including hospitals, doctor's offices and outpatient facilities. Each day, they interact with patients and physicians, guiding patients through the diagnostic procedures, then receiving instructions and returning reports to physicians.

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What do X-ray technicians do?
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Full Answer

X-ray technicians, also called radiologic and MRI technicians, receive instructions from patients' doctors, indicating which areas of the body to focus images on. These technicians have some knowledge of medical terminology and understand the technical aspects of the equipment they operate. In addition to interacting with patients and physicians, MRI technicians employ technical knowledge by setting and adjusting diagnostic equipment. They also use computer skills by performing and interpreting diagnostic scans using computer systems and software. These technicians ensure patients' comfort and safety prior to tests.

TX-ray technicians might distribute medical questionnaires, gaining an understanding of patients' medical histories, and keep all areas of the body not subject to testing covered. Radiologic technicians maintain files and records for all patients, making organizational skills important. Following exams, technicians remain in contact with patients' physicians. They relay reports and communicate with doctors, determining whether additional tests are necessary.

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