X-ray technicians, the subject of this week’s career memes, get to work with some of the coolest imaging technologies around to help doctors accurately diagnose medical problems.
X-ray technicians, as their job title implies, take X-rays. Besides traditional X-ray machines, however, they may also work with fluoroscopy, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computerised axial tomography (CT) technologies to obtain images of the inside of the human body.
X-ray technicians can find in employment in hospitals, where their work hours may vary, or in out-patient settings, such as a doctor's office or medical clinic, where their work hours may be more consistent.
In addition to operating imaging equipment, X-ray technicians are responsible for recording procedures, the upkeep and maintenance of the machines, and for helping put patients at ease. Therefore, good 'people skills' and obviously, knowledge of the imaging machines, will benefit an X-ray technician, in addition to good communication skills, knowledge of medical terminology, and attention to detail and procedures. X-ray technicians may also require physical strength to help lift and position patients onto examination tables.
An X-ray technician's educational background will likely include studies in science, anatomy, radiobiology, physiology and medical ethics.
In Ireland, X-ray technicians – who are also known as X-ray technologists or diagnostic radiographers – can earn an average annual starting salary of €25,000-€30,000, which can increase with experience and further qualifications, according to FÁS.