What Medical Procedures Does an Xray Tech Perform?

The average day for an xray tech can be varied and complex. Technicians in the radiology field use high-tech equipment to perform medical imaging that helps physicians diagnose, treat or rule out certain medical conditions.

X rays have helped doctors spot broken bones, tumors, and even swallowed objects. Here are a few ways in which xray techs use technology every day.

xray tech education

1. Chest X Ray

A chest x ray is one of the most common procedures performed by an xray tech. The procedure is a painless and unobtrusive way to look for abnormalities or medical conditions. Patients who experience shortness of breath, chronic coughing or chest pain will often be subject to chest x rays.

Technicians operate the imaging equipment that takes pictures of the inside of a patient’s chest. They also help prepare patients to have the x ray procedure done without the risk of being exposed to excess amounts of radiation.

2. Bone X Ray

Bone x rays are frequently used to detect fractures, tumors and other conditions that impact bone health. The procedure s most often performed in hospitals by a qualified xray tech. Technicians taking bone images must be able to properly prepare patients and spot potential issues that would require the analysis of a physician.

Bone x rays are also used to measure bone loss in patients, which helps doctors discover issues such as osteoporosis.

3. Mammography

Mammography is a type of low dose x ray imaging used to examine breasts. It is one of the most important tools in the early detection of breast cancer. Some x ray tech professionals specialize in mammography and focus their career in that particular area.

How do You Become an Xray Tech?

Becoming a technician starts with choosing a quality school. Check out the schools in your area to determine which would be a good option for you. It’s important to look into schools that have earned accreditation through a nationally-recognized organization, such as the CAAHEP. This group decides which schools will earn accreditation based on a number of criteria.

Once you narrow the search down to two or three schools, take a tour of the campus to get a feel for how things will go once you are enrolled in classes. You’ll want to pick a school that not only feels right to you, but also offers up-to-date facilities with state-of-the-art equipment and medical grade classrooms.

When you decide on a school, it’s time to apply. Make sure your paperwork is in order an submit your application online or through the mail. Make sure you meet all the prerequisites and pay the application fee, if there is one.

Choosing Your Path

During school, you’ll want to determine whether you want to specialize in a certain area or become a general radiology technician. Most students choose to obtain an associate degree, which typically takes around 18 months to complete. This degree will prepare students to take the required state-level exams to become certified as a registered technician.

Once you have earned your certification, it’s time to embark on a career as a professional technician. Most techs work in hospitals, although more opportunities are becoming available in private clinics and physicians offices.


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