In the daily schedule of a Radiologic Technician, how much of the time are you doing the same thing? Is there something different every day?
I am a senior in high school looking to pursue a career in radiology. I have had some shadowing experience in my area. I was there twice a week for three weeks and it seemed like the Rad. Tech.’s were always doing the same thing, or they were sitting around. This concerns me that all jobs are like this. Please provide me more information so I know what I am going into and can make a knowledgeable decision about my future. #medicine #medical-field #radiology #radiologist #radiological-technician
if you pursue a career as a Radiologic Technologist (never say technician. That is someone without a license) you will undoubtedly complete your clinical training in an acute care hospital with an ER and OR. If that is where you did your shadowing and most of the technologists sat around most of the time; something is wrong. Few hospitals can afford that for very long.
Typically the technologists, or Radiographers, are kept reasonably busy. In a Hospital department assignments will usually rotate, so one week you may be in the ER and the next in the main department or the OR. So there is variety over time. There are literally hundreds of different x-ray exams that can be done in various settings on many different types of patients with thousands of different illnesses and injuries. Usually, you will have to be able to do each type of exam on several different types of equipment. I never found it monotonous unless I was assigned to doing chest x-rays all day. Even then, it was only for two weeks every 3 months. If you work the evening or overnight shift you have to be a jack of all trades.
After you graduate and get your license, you may choose to specialize...or be forced to by the jobs available to you. Once you have a job, you can work on advanced skills such as CT, MRI, or Interventional Radiography. You can also become involved in QA, PI, mentoring, and committee work. Like most careers, Radiography is what you make of it.
Jordan is absolutely correct, it truly depends on what type of radiology you want to pursue. Seven of the 8 years I've been in radiology, I've spent 90% of the time working 2nd & 3rd shift in the ER. It's an incredible place to be, as you never know what will be coming through the door. So you get to use everything you spent so much time learning, to good use, as well as your critical thinking skills But it's also one of the most difficult areas to work, as again, you never know what is coming through the door. It's crazy & insane, & there are days/nights where you can forget about lunch/dinner, & even having a chance to use the restroom...not because you're short staffed or anything, simply because it is that busy. And with that comes a great blessing, you get to be there for your patients in a way you're not able to be anywhere else in radiology. You're there for them in their most difficult times, when they don't know what's really happening at any given moment. When they're scared, afraid of what's going to happen next. I've had patients refuse to leave without coming to give me a hug & tell me thank you...and it's those patients that make everything worth it.
The other year, I worked in a outpatient center. It is a totally different ballgame. There's a lot of predictability & more downtime. It was a wonderful change after 7 years in the ER but I missed the ER/hospital greatly. I recommend to our in-house radiology students to work in the ER for at least a year after they graduate. The knowledge & experience you earn is unbelievably valuable. Especially you enjoy having something to do at all times.
Best of luck & let me know if there's anything else you'd like to know!
It all depends on what type of radiology you're interested in pursuing. If you get a job at an outpatient facility, it's very likely that you'll be doing a lot of the same exams. Certain exams are very common in outpatient facilities, like chest and spine x-rays. However, if you're working at an orthopedic site, you're very unlikely to see a chest x-ray. Orthopedic sites and hospitals are typically busier than a general outpatient facility. If you work at an orthopedic site, you're at the mercy of the surgeon who work there. Orthopedic surgeons have their specialties, and you're most likely to see them order a lot of the same exams, due to the nature of their practice. If it is slow, techs will typically just stay in their area. Since x-rays are usually not scheduled, and are offered only on a walk-in basis, you never know how busy you're going to get. So you take breaks when you're able to. If you want to stay busy and see a variety of exams, I highly recommend getting a job at a hospital. If you're looking to have a low-pressure job and have less of a variety, I recommend an outpatient facility.