X-Ray Technicians play a vital role in the diagnostic aspect of health care. An X-Ray Technician is a trained health care worker with specific skills in the operation of x-ray equipment, positioning patients, and taking pictures of the inside of the human body so that conditions, diseases, or injury can be visualized and diagnosed. X-Ray Technicians can expect a variety of work circumstances and must be able to work well with people under stress. Some patients may be uncooperative or unable to sit, stand, or lie in certain positions due to illness, injury, or pain. The X-Ray Technician's job is to keep the patient calm and cooperative in order to get the best quality image. One way of looking at X-Ray Tech jobs is to visualize their role as the one who takes pictures of problems in the human body so that the doctor, dentist, or radiologist can then begin to solve those problems. The more skilled you are at getting high quality images, the more accurately the physician can diagnose the problem.
Working with x-ray technology is often described as both an art and a science. When the X-Ray Tech performs the procedure, the rays are transmitted through the area of the body being examined and an "impression" or radiograph is left on a screen. On the screen, you can view bones, tissues, and organs in either standard x-ray film or more recently, by using digital technology. The solid and dense portions will appear whiter and the softer tissues will be more of a gray color. The softer tissues don't create as much imaging resistance, which is why their color appears less white. If a bone is broken, there will be an abnormality in the form and there may be a break in the white coloration, which will help to confirm that a bone is broken.
The x-rays are transmitted through the patient to an image capturing device so that the physician can accurately make a diagnoses. There is the use of screen radiography, where the rays pass through the patient and then create an impression on film, which is developed chemically; however, more recently, the use of digital radiography has become used more often.
The art of viewing an x-ray
X-Rays are images of the body obtained by using ionizing radiation energy beams. X-rays create images of bones, tissues, and organs on film or digital media. X-Rays are used for a variety of reasons from diagnosing broken bones to tumors. The X-rays pass through body and make their way onto special treated plates similar to the way a picture taken on a camera creates a negative. The more solid and dense the structure, the whiter it will appear on the x-ray film. Softer tissues such as blood, fat, skin, and muscles don't create as much imaging resistance to the rays and tend to show up as more of a dark gray color. When a bone is broken, for example, the x-ray provides clues in the form of a break in the white area, which is an indicator that the bone is fractured or broken.The one in an X-Ray Technician job that you cannot do is to discuss findings of an x-ray with a patient. Sometimes a skilled X-Ray Technician can spot potential problems on the images but they still must not discuss it. The X-Ray Technician should, instead, tell them when they will be notified of any findings by a radiologist or their doctor, which may take several days. If an emergency problem is spotted a radilogist will be notified immediately and it will become a priority of the radiology lab.
X-Ray jobs take place in hospitals, doctor's offices, radiology clinics, dental offices and even convalescent homes. Some go on to learn other aspects of radiology careers and imaging techniques such as ultrasound jobs, magnectic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerized tomography (Cat scans or CT scans). The possiblities are wide open and the demand is great, and there are many x-ray schools to choose from. The next time you twist your ankle, you better get yourself a good X-Ray Tech to take a picture of it to see if it's sprained or broken.