A career in medical radiography can be a rewarding job. You will be among the patients needing tests conducted with specialized machinery and tools. As a radiology expert, you will be the one who lines up the machines, explains the procedures, and performs the necessary tests.
Plus, you will be checking the results of the test to make sure that everything looks good. You will probably be able to read the image at a glance, but your job is to take the pictures and send them up to a radiologist for them to read and write up a report for the doctor that ordered the test in the first place.
But the question for those contemplating this type of career is what they can expect in the life of a medical radiography technician. Is it full of stress and danger, or calm and helpful? Well, it is a combination of them both. Let’s look at what you can expect from the time you clock in until the time you leave for the day.
- Doctor’s Orders – The first thing you will do for the shift is check out the doctor’s orders, starting with the first file on the list. Most of the time, these orders will be a couple of days old, so you will have all the information you need. Sometimes, an emergency patient is sent to you for a test, which they will squeeze into the patients that have appointments.
- Check The Equipment – Before conducting the test, you will need to ensure that the equipment is up and running. You will also have to go through a checklist to ensure that they operate safely and effectively.
- Prepare Patients – One of the highlights of a Medical Radiography career is hands-on work with the patients. People rely upon you to find the problems that have brought them in for a test. Or to show that all is good and they need to have the doctor continue digging for an answer. Either way, the patient will be thankful that you were there to find some answers for them.
- Operate Machines – The next order of business will be to operate the machines used for the specific test. You may have to inject the patient with dye, or you may have to ask them to move around in different positions to get all angles needed. With many machines, you will need to stand in a separate room to ensure your safety.
- Check The Images – After the test cycle has been completed, you will be required to check over the images to ensure that they are clear and show the areas of the body that they need to be showing. If not, you will have to do the tests again. A common problem is that people cannot sit still long enough for the machines to do their jobs. It makes for images that are not usable, so you will have to do it all over again.
- Print The Images – If the images are ready to go, you will need to print them and prepare them to send to the radiolist, who will be officially reading them. This is usually done before you let the patient go, just to ensure no accidents happen. It would be a bad day for you if you let a patient leave just to find out that you needed one more image because the printer failed.
- Clean The Equipment – Once the patient is gone, you will need to clean the machine and get it sanitized and ready for the next patient, which you can bring into the room after you glance through the doctor’s orders and the file that is attached to them.
- Repeat – This will be the daily process for you. Once you are done with one patient, you will be moving on to the next one in line.
Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? No day will be the same, and no patient will be like the one before them. Some days you will be running to keep up, while others will be full of empty spots in your schedule. No worries, though, because you will still have plenty to do on the slow days. You can help with office tasks, or you can help with maintenance by stocking rooms and stock rooms. There is always something to do, so you will have no boring downtime.
A medical radiologist is a person many patients look to for help and answers. To succeed in this career, you will need to have patience and be willing to find things to do on your own. You will have to be able to work closely with all the doctors in the area, as well as the radiologist that will be reading the images that you have supplied them. Basically, you will have to be a professional that has a great work ethic and good public service abilities.