Radiographer: Job Duties & Requirements
A Radiographer or Radiography Technician creates medical images to assist physicians in diagnosing a patient's injury or disease. Radiographers take x-rays and use radiation therapy to treat patients' cancerous tumors. The education required to become a Radiographer ranges from one to four years depending on the employer and the career goals of the student Radiographer.
Career Definition - Radiographer or Radiography Technician
A Radiographer, also called a Radiography Technician, works directly with patients as part of a healthcare team to assist in diagnosing and treating a variety of ailments from broken bones to cancer. Other duties of the Radiographer are to update patients' charts, maintain equipment in the radiology lab, and follow closely all of the safety precautions necessary to the job. There are 1-year programs to earn certification as a Radiography Technician; however, many students and employers consider a 2- or 4-year program in radiation sciences to be preferable.
How to Become a Radiographer or Radiography Technician
Required Education for a Career in Radiography
The most common degree completed by those seeking a career in Radiography is a 2-year associate's degree in radiation science. Coursework will include topics such as anatomy, biology and medical record keeping. Licensure laws vary by state, but most states require a board exam to be passed before a Radiography Technician can be licensed to practice.
Skills Required for a Career as a Radiographer or Radiography Technician
A Radiographer must communicate successfully with patients and their families. Therefore, patience and understanding are valuable skills. A desire to work as part of a team and the ability to follow exact instructions are also important.
Career and Economic Outlook for Radiography
Job opportunities in healthcare continue to grow and the field of Radiography is no exception. While hospitals remain the largest employers of Radiography Technicians, clinics, dentist's offices and diagnostic imaging centers are also in need of qualified Radiographers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the median annual income for Radiography Technicians at $40,700 in 2012.
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