Recognizing the Work of Radiologic Technologists

125 years ago this week, William Roentgen made one of the most momentous discoveries in both physics and medicine.

On November 8, 1895, Roentgen discovered x-rays and took the world’s first x-ray pictures, one of which was of his wife’s hand showing the bones and her wedding ring.

This week, National Radiologic Technology Week, we celebrate that discovery and the work of today’s radiology technologists.

R.Ts., sometimes called rad techs, do far more, of course, than simply taking x-rays. They perform a broad range of diagnostic imaging procedures. They may specialize in breast imaging, computed tomography, cardiac-interventional procedures, magnetic resonance imaging, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, radiation therapy and general diagnostic radiology

Technologists must have at least an associate’s degree, many hold 4-year college degrees. Registered radiologic technologists must pass a national test to become certified. The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists counts over 300,000 technologists.

The leading organization for radiologic technologists is the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, which created National Radiologic Technology Week in 1979.

And just for the record, there is often confusion between the terms radiologic technologist and technician. Though they may be used interchangeably, and some organizations say the difference is that a technologist has somewhat more training and is able to perform more imaging procedures, others insist the difference is that a tech repairs and manages the equipment.

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

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