Radiologic technologists, also known as radiographers, perform diagnostic imaging examinations, such as x rays, on patients. MRI technologists operate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners to create diagnostic images.
Radiologic and MRI 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 order to get the correct image
Operate the computerized equipment to take the images
Work with physicians to evaluate the images and to determine whether additional images need to be taken
Keep detailed patient records
Healthcare professionals use many types of equipment to diagnose patients. Radiologic technologists specialize in x-ray and computed tomography (CT) imaging. Some radiologic technologists prepare a mixture for the patient to drink that allows soft tissue to be viewed on the images that the radiologist reviews.
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.
MRI technologists specialize in magnetic resonance imaging scanners. They inject patients with contrast dyes so that the images will show up on the scanner. The scanners use magnetic fields in combination with the contrast agent to produce images that a physician can use to diagnose medical problems.