Radiography is the art and science of producing radiographic images of internal structures of humans. Many radiographers, known by the credentials R.T.(R), work alongside radiologists, who are MDs or DOs who specialize in radiology. Radiographers produce images that are interpreted by radiologists. For more advanced procedures such as arthrograms and myelograms, the radiographer’s role is to assist the radiologist who performs those types of exams.
The profession has come a long way since the first radiograph over 120 years ago. It has moved from recording images on glass plates, to film and more recently, to digital images. The x –ray generators and tubes have advanced too. It is a fast-paced and constantly-changing profession.
Today’s radiographers make creating a radiographic image look simple. There’s nothing easy about producing a quality radiograph. Radiographers simultaneously use their knowledge of anatomy, physics, radiographic procedures, communication, and radiation protection as well as patient care skills.
Employment Opportunities or Careers
Hospitals, clinics, imaging centers, doctors’ offices, and chiropractors are a few of the employers of radiographers.
Radiographers can specialize in mammography (M), computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MR), cardiac-interventional (CI), vascular-interventional (VI), quality management (QM), or bone densitometry (BD). With an additional year of education, radiographers can move into careers in sonography (S), nuclear medicine (N), or radiation therapy (T). Opportunities in education, sales, applications and management are also available, but generally require a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 2-5 years of employment as a radiographer.