What Radiologic Technologists do*
Radiologic technologists perform diagnostic imaging examinations, such as x rays, on patients.
Radiologic technologists typically do the following:
- Adjust and maintain imaging equipment
- Precisely follow orders from physicians on what areas of the body to image
- Prepare patients for procedures, including taking a medical history and answering questions about the procedure
- Protect the patient by shielding exposed areas that do not need to be imaged
- Position the patient and the equipment in the location needed to get the correct image
- Operate the computerized equipment to take the images
- Work with radiologists reading the images to determine whether other images need to be taken
- Keep detailed patient records
Healthcare professionals use many types of diagnostic equipment to diagnose patients. Radiologic technologists specialize in x-ray, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment. They may be called CT technicians or MRI technicians, depending on the equipment they work with. Radiologic technologists might also specialize in mammography. Mammographers use low-dose x-ray systems to produce images of the breast. Technologists may be certified in multiple specialties.
Healthcare professionals who specialize in other diagnostic equipment include nuclear medicine technologists, diagnostic medical sonographers, cardiovascular technologists and technicians, and vascular technologists. For more information, see the profiles on nuclear medicine technologists, diagnostic medical sonographers, and cardiovascular technologists and technicians and vascular technologists.
Some radiologic technologists prepare a mixture for the patient to drink that allows soft tissue to be seen on the images that the radiologist reviews.
The median annual wage of radiologic technologists was $54,340 in May 2010. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $36,510 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $76,850.
Most radiologic technologists work full time. Because imaging is needed in emergencies, some radiologic technologists work evenings, weekends, or on call.
The Pearl River Community College Department of Radiologic Technology is affiliated with Forrest General Hospital, Hattiesburg Clinic, and Wesley Medical Center in Hattiesburg, along with Memorial Hospital in Gulfport, Marion General in Columbia, and Highland Community Hospital in Picayune. These clinical education centers each serve as clinical practice centers where students are provided with the opportunity to gain experience and develop skills necessary to qualify for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologist Examination.
The two-year Associate of Applied Science degree program begins in June each year which coincides with the beginning of the P.R.C.C. summer semester.
The first semester of the program consists of classroom instruction only. Upon completion of this session, the clinical phase will begin with rotation through each diagnostic room, darkroom, etc. There will be clinical assignments on weekend and night shifts as deemed necessary by program officials.
Shifts will include the evening, 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., as well as 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. shifts to take advantage of patient availability at these times. During the second year of training, students will be rotated through the specialty areas to allow insight into their options after graduation.
Maximum class size is limited to 17 students per year.
For a complete printable Medical Radiologic Technology admissions packet click Medical Radiologic Packet in the menu to the left.
For more information write to:
Pearl River Community College
Department of Radiologic Technology
5448 US. Highway 49 South
Hattiesburg, MS 39401