Career Story: Radiologic Technologist

Radiologic Technologist

Job Title: Radiologic Technologist

Type of Company: I work for the company that manufactures breast MRI scanners in a hospital setting.

Education: MGH School for Radiologic Technologists-- certificate

Previous Experience: I worked as radiologic technologist in general radiology. I was also a special procedures technologist in neuroradiology and pediatrics.

Job Tasks: As a radiologic technologist performing mammograms and breast MRI, I am required to be licensed and registered by the state of MA. I need to fulfill a certain number of continuing education credits yearly in order to maintain my license and registration. This is generally done outside the work enviornment.

Mammograms can either be routine or diagnostic. It is necessary to place the patient's breasts (male or female) in standard positions for routine exams and have the knowledge of other breast positions for diagnostic studies. It is very important to have good people skills, compassion and patience as most men or women are anxious about test results.

niforms or lab coats are usually the prescribed attire for office, clinic or hospital work. Most often only women work together, given the nature and number of employees.

Breast MRI still deals with the breast, but we see a lot more than diagnosed breast cancers. Mammography is the best screening tool for breast cancer. MRI is part of the diagnostic work-up. It is in conjunction with mammography. Breast MRI is an invasive procedure. An IV is required and a contrast material is injected to better visualize the tissues within the breast. Some people may be allergic to the "dye" and some medications may interact with this "dye". It is very important to properly screen the patients before the exam. It is also important to screen for any metals on or in the body as MRI scanners work with a strong magnet. Mammography works with radiation.

All in all it is a great job for mothers because the hours are flexible.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is helping people. I also like the variety of hours along with shift differentials. There is also opportunities to make this profession a career. The possibilities besides management include applications, marketing, administration, sales, etc.

The worst part of the job are seeing sick and dying patients. Sometimes working with all women can be trying. People needing something all of the time can cause job "burnout".

Job Tips: Always keep job options open. Never "burn any bridges". Radiology can be a small world. Keep up your licenses and CEUs. Specialize in as many modalities as posiible. That way you are always marketable.

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