Give It To Me Straight.... X-Ray Tech Job Description

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Robert in Los Angeles, California

25 months ago

Hello all who read. I'm currently taking Anatomy and want to be an x-ray tech. The bones/skeletal system dont seem hard at all, but the other body systems are what's making me struggle a little (ie circulatory, muscle, integumentary). Do I REALLY need to know most of the other systems in the everyday life of an x-ray tech?

Also, does this apply to CT techs, MRI techs, etc.?

Also, be honest, is physiology really important in everyday also? After all, from what I read, x-ray techs only make the x-ray images; the diagnosing is the role of the actual doctor.

NOTE: I could probably pull off the B in the class, but only because everything is multiple choice. In real life, there are no multiple choice answers...

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Olecranon_Don in Brewster, New York

20 months ago

Robert,
Just came across this post, so your questions might already have been answered. Anatomy & Physiology (I and II) was incorrectly listed in my college's catalog as a course that would need to be completed before the end of the 2 year program, but was in fact a prerequisite. Couldn't imagine trying to take that class along with Positioning I and Technique I. And YES, you do need that class. And YES, the techs create the image (still a radiograph, even though rarely seen on film now) for the doctor to diagnose.
I'm telling you, the physiology, circulatory system and other organ systems bring up the "why do I have to learn..." question very often. Don't fight it - you might not like these things, but if you resist them you will fail, or come close to doing so. Almost got me. Cross-sectional anatomy is most likely a course in the 2nd year of that program where you want to go to school. Pathology, too. I also questioned these mandates. They will show up on the Registry. X-Sectional applies to CT and MRI, and Pathology applies to just about everything. Some life threatening conditions will present themselves to you under your care. Even though people will say "I'm just the Tech," well, you may very well be just that person who can see something an ER doctor flooded with 20+ patients might miss, and you can bring it to their attention. Anyone who says "you just push a button" or says "you take pictures" or are a glorified photographer is ignorant and sadly mistaken. You may actually KNOW a diagnosis from experience (i.e. femur is broken, heart is enlarged, fluid present in lungs, tibial fracture present, etc.) but as a technologist, you cannot and will not give advice or diagnosis to a patient or family member for any reason. I have seen people do it thinking they are trying to help, and people pleaded with me to just tell them something - even though I was still a student! Can't do it, man. Jeopardizes their safety and YOUR license. Good Luck.

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