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A Day in the Life of an X-Ray Technician

Apr 08, 2010

If you are thinking about a career as an X-ray technician, then you would likely be interested in discovering what a day as an X-ray technician entails. This helps you understand what this job is like and whether you can see yourself working in this position.

X-ray technicians start the day pretty early, as they have to be ready for early morning cases which may have come in overnight. On occasion you may be asked to work night shifts or weekends, or you may have to be on call and ready to respond should your work need you. Your day will always be different, which is why being an X-ray technician is such a fun job.

Once you know where you start for the day, you will need to make sure that your machine is calibrated and ready for your first scan of the day. You will have to review the paperwork for each scan to ensure that you know what part of the anatomy you are scanning. All the while you need to be ready for emergency X-rays that may need to be fit in.

Across the country there is a shortage of available diagnostic imaging machines and qualified personnel to operate them. At the same time hospitals are trying to cut back on all non-essential costs, so as a result your job as an X-ray technician will mean that you need to cram as much work into as little time as possible.

You also may be called upon to work with radiologists and surgeons to participate in interventional medicine, which means that you will assist with mapping major arteries and veins. The assistance you provide will let the surgeon run a catheter through the veins in order to treat blocked blood vessels.

Frequently, X-ray technicians will also be needed to assist with performing barium enemas, which are used to help X-ray blockages in the bowel. The technicians will assist the radiologist, and take X-rays when the enema is in place. An unfortunate downside of this procedure is that it needs to be tidied up after you are finished, which is your job alone. But for the most part being an X-ray technician is fun and exciting.

Hospitals are open 24/7 – which means that they need X-ray technicians at all hours. For many new X-ray technicians, the night shift may be your regular shift, but after you pay your dues you can work up to a regular day shift, with just a few nights here and there when they need you. As a bonus, the night shift is not nearly as busy as days since it is usually only emergency cases.

Being an X-ray technician is a rewarding career, and you will never be bored. There is a really good demand for X-ray technicians, and you can train to be one in just a few years. Once you are trained you can work in virtually any hospital in the country, and you can work your way up the ladder to be a skilled and much sought-after technician. Perhaps this would be a good career for you.

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