What Can I Expect From A Career As An X-ray Technician?
An X-ray technician is an integral part of the medical community. They are responsible for helping with the diagnosis of medical conditions into ensure various parts of the human body are x-rayed properly in order to provide assistance to the physician they are working hand in hand with. If you are learning a career as an X-ray technician, it is important to know what you will be doing and what your job responsibilities are.
What an X-ray Technician Is
Generally speaking, an X-ray technician is someone who will be maintaining imaging equipment and following orders from a physician as to what areas of the body need to be imaged. The patient will be prepared for the procedure - and this includes talking to them about their medical history, answering questions regarding the procedure, and protecting the patient by using a shield for the areas that will be exposed but that do not need to be imaged.
An X-ray technician is going to work hand in hand with the physician in order to read the images and determine whether other images will need to be taken. The X-ray technician is also responsible for updating patient records and potentially providing a mixture for patients to drink so that soft tissues can be seen on the images taken.
Some of the X-ray technician job responsibilities include being able to adjust and maintain various types of imaging equipment. If you become an X-ray technician, you will need to be able to prepare patients for the procedure and be comfortable asking personal questions. The more compassionate you are, the easier it will be for you to do your job and excel at it.
Skills for an X-ray Technician
In order to perform the different X-ray technician job responsibilities, you will need to be able to lift 50 pounds on a regular basis. Additionally, you will need to be able to bend and stoop, have full use of both of your hands and be able to help patients on and off an exam table as well as be able to help them in and out of the different shields necessary to be worn when using the X-ray machine.
Additionally, as an X-ray technician, you will need to have a strong level of vision as you will be operating computerized equipment, taking images, and reading through them in order to determine whether they have captured the part of the body effectively.
As you will be working with different physicians, you will need to be able to precisely follow orders and be able to speak or write down your observations from the x-rays so that a physician will be able to quickly and effectively make a diagnosis for the patient.
The Environment of an X-ray Technician
The environment of an X-ray technician is going to vary significantly depending upon the facility that you work in. If you work in dentistry, you will be working within a dentist's office. If you work in cardiology, radiology, or other areas of medicine, you may find yourself working at a private practice, a hospital, a clinic, or various other facilities.
Due to the mobile nature of X-ray equipment thanks to modern technology, the environment for an X-ray technician can vary quite significantly. You may find that you work in the field - which is very common with veterinary medicine as well as in public health care. You will follow the physician that you work with in order to provide assistance with the diagnostic tests that need to be run.
It's also important to note that you will spend approximately 80 percent of your workweek on your feet. You are likely going to work 40 hours a week and most of these will be during the week. If you work in a clinic or hospital, you may also find that you are working nights and weekends simply because x-rays are necessary by physicians in order to make a variety of different diagnoses prior to offering treatment.
Since the environment of an X-ray technician can vary quite significantly, it's important to understand all of the different careers and be able to distinguish the environment that you will be working in within each one.