X-Ray Tech Job Description

What Does an X-Ray Technologist Do?

The primary job of an x-ray technologist is to take x-rays of parts of the human body for diagnostic purposes. (see: How do x-rays work?)

X-ray technologists work with patients on a daily basis, explaining the procedure to them, removing clothing or jewelry that might block x-rays, and positioning them for the best angles. Thus, patient safety, positioning and equipment use play a large role in the occupation.

The job itself consists of positioning the patient for the best angle in front of the camera and placing any shielding on the patient that may be necessary. Since they are working with radiation, x-ray technologists protect themselves and others using lead-lined aprons, gloves and other shielding devices, ensuring safety during this step of the process.

The x-ray tech then uses the camera and imaging system to generate photographs of the patient’s bone and tissue structure. The images reveal injuries such as fractures, broken bones, and in some types of scans, soft tissue damage (see: types of scans). These images massively help physicians in making a diagnosis.

X-Ray Tech Work Environment

X-ray technologists may work in:

  • Hospitals
  • Physicians’ offices
  • Specialty practices
  • Diagnostic imaging centers
  • Outpatient centers
  • Laboratories

Occasionally, x-ray techs may also travel to disabled patients’ homes using an equipped van.

(See a more detailed article on where x-ray techs work.)

X-Ray Technologist Continuing Education

X-ray techs are usually required to complete regular continuing education, including equipment safety and maintenance, as well as recent advancements in technology and methods in order to ensure the least amount of risk to both patient and technologist. For more information, see X-Ray Technologist Training, as well as the page on x-ray tech recertification.

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