What is Medical Imaging and Radiologic Technology?

Medical imaging is a technologically advanced and patient care oriented profession that uses a variety of means, such as sound waves (Sonography), radioactive substances (Nuclear Medicine), magnetic field and radiowaves (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), and x-rays (Radiologic Technology, Computed Tomography) to diagnose disease processes. These are considered foundational components of the medical imaging profession.

Radiologic Technology consists of producing a series of x-ray or radiographic images, known as a radiographic procedure or exam, in hopes of assisting the patient’s physician to detect anatomic and/or physiological abnormalities. These procedures are performed by personnel very knowledgeable in human anatomy and physiology and highly trained to safely use sophisticated digital radiographic equipment. Education institutions, such as Kettering College, with a radiologic technology program, educate and train students in all aspects of the radiography profession. They provide the foundational curriculum for the medical imaging profession and prepare the radiography graduate for advanced imaging education.

What can I do with a radiologic technology degree?

Individuals with a radiologic technology degree have many options following graduation. First, graduates can obtain employment in a wide variety of clinical locations, such as hospitals, physician’s offices, clinics, or out-patient centers. Second, radiology graduates can work for a medical equipment company that require surgical intervention, such as pacemaker insertion or orthopedic repair. Third and most importantly, graduates can continue their education in advanced imaging to become multi-certified and more marketable to employers. They can also combine advanced imaging education with the completion of a bachelor’s degree. Radiology graduates can also further their education to focus on radiology/hospital management or education.

How much money do I make when I graduate?

The national mean annual wage according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics from May 2016 is $59,260. In Ohio, the mean annual wage is $53,390. For a recent radiography graduate working full time, the annual salary would range between $45,000 and $50,000.

What type of RT (radiologic technologist) makes the most money?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a cardiovascular technologist made a mean annual salary of $57,100 in May 2016. A magnetic resonance imaging (MR) technologist received a mean annual wage of $69,240.

    • What is a radiographer?

      A radiographer, also known as a radiologic technologist, is a highly-trained health care professional who works with computerized imaging equipment to produce diagnostic images of the body and determine the existence and extent of disease. The radiographer also works closely with the radiologist—a physician who specializes in reading and interpreting radiographic images—in performing certain radiographic procedures.

    • What is the role of a radiographer?

      A radiographer performs a wide variety of imaging procedures on all parts of the body by safely dispensing small amounts of ionizing radiation to the patient. The radiographer will discuss the course of the procedure to the patient, evaluate the images for diagnostic value, and instruct the patient as to how the results will be communicated. The overall goal of the radiographer is to produce diagnostic images using the least amount of radiation possible while providing professional and compassionate care to the patient.

    • Do radiographers read x-ray images?

      Absolutely not. Radiographers are not qualified to read and interpret radiographic images, thus placing it outside radiographers’ scope of practice. Radiographers are trained to produce radiographic images and evaluate them for their diagnostic value. It is the role of the radiologist to read and interpret radiographic images. The radiologist is a physician who specializes in reading the exams and diagnosing disease.

    • What is a Registered Radiologist Assistant (RRA)

      A Registered Radiologist Assistant (RRA) is a registered radiologic technologist who has received additional formal training, both didactic and clinical education, and is qualified to perform many procedures that a radiologist would otherwise do. These procedures include a variety of fluoroscopic exams as well as preliminary interpretation of some radiographic examination images. Those interested in becoming a RRA and sit for the RRA exam must possess a bachelor’s degree and be ARRT registered in radiography. They also must have at least one year of clinical experience in radiography and complete an accredited radiologist assistant program that includes the ARRT clinical and didactic requirements.


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