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What is a Radiology Tech?

Radiographers, also known as Radiologic Technologists, Diagnostic Radiographers, Medical Radiation Technologists Radiographers are infrequently, and often incorrectly, known as X-Ray Technicians in less developed countries and sometimes inaccurately by the general public in more developed countries, this title is controversial as radiographers receive a higher level of training than that of a technician and it does not reflect the clinical nature of the profession. In countries which use the title radiologic technologist they are often informally referred to as techs in the clinical environment.

Radiographers perform imaging of the human body for diagnosis and/or treatment of pathological or medical conditions. Radiographers work in both public and private healthcare and can be physically located in any setting where appropriate diagnostic equipment is located, most frequently in hospitals. Their practice varies country to country and can even vary between hospitals in the same country.


In the United States, these professionals are known as Radiologic Technologists. Formal training programs in radiography range in length that leads to a certificate, an associate or a bachelor's degree. The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), the primary credentialing organization for Radiologic Technologists in the United States, requires that candidates for ARRT Certification Exams must have an Associate degree at minimum as of January, 0, effectively ending non-degree granting diploma programs.8 Accreditation is primarily through The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT), the only agency recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation to grant accreditation to both traditional and online programs in Radiography, Radiation Therapy, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and Medical Dosimetry. An online page where prospective students can check the accreditation of programs is maintained by JRCERT.9

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Radiologic Technology students study anatomy and physiology, physics, mathematics, radiopharmacology, pathology, biology, research, nursing, medical imaging, diagnosis, radiologic instrumentation, emergency medical procedures, medical imaging techniques, computer programming, patient care, medical ethics and general chemistry. Schooling also includes significant amounts of documented practicum supervised by Registered Technologists in various clinical settings where the classroom theory is translated to practical knowledge and real world experience. The change from Film to Digital imaging has changed training as film quality assurance and quality control is largely obsolete. The role of computer workstations to produce synthetic images for Radiologists has steadily increased the need for computer skills as has electronic medical record software.

After primary training and licensure, continuing education is required to maintain licensure and certification with the ARRT, who sets the accepted national guidelines. The ARRT requires Units of accredited continuing education every two years and the laws and the regulations of most states accept this standard. Continuing formal education or the passing of an advanced practice speciality exam may also be accepted for continuing education credit. The American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT),0 a professional association for people in Medical Imaging and Therapy, offers members and others continuing education materials in various media that meet the requirements of the ARRT for continuing education.


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