An MRI machine, which is used for medical imaging.
Medical imaging jobs can vary from one position to another, including the fields of ultrasound, radiology and nuclear medicine. In addition to these various fields, medical imaging careers can also have many specialties. Technologists, technicians and assistants can be found in departments such as cardiology, gynecology and other specific departments.
An X-ray technician is a type of medical imaging job in that he conducts X-rays on patients so that doctors can view the images later.
Radiology deals primarily with X-ray-related procedures; specialties may include computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Radiologist, radiologist, assistants and technologists are some of the common medical imaging jobs in this department. Radiologists, radiologists, and assistants generally require a more advanced degree, while technologists and technicians may only have an associate’s degree or training from an approved vocational program. The duration and type of training programs vary by region and employer. Common areas of employment are hospitals and doctors’ offices.
Medical imaging often allows doctors to make a diagnosis without invasive testing.
Ultrasound is another department that relies on medical imaging – the ultrasound technician uses frequency wave imaging to help diagnose illness or disorders in a patient. Ultrasound technology is most commonly employed by hospitals and clinics, where technicians may be called technologists or assistants, depending on the facility. Common ultrasound specialties include obstetrics, gynecology, and mammography. Employment opportunities may be available in hospitals, doctors’ offices, and often specialist offices. Minimum educational requirements may consist of vocational programs, diploma programs, and various degree programs.
Medical imaging technologists and technicians may have an associate’s degree, although radiologists and radiologists often require a more advanced degree.
Nuclear medicine is another of the medical imaging functions and is quite similar to x-ray technology. The significant difference in these two areas is the use of radioactive drugs known as radiopharmaceuticals. These compounds are introduced into the body before imaging tests for contrast and to detect disease. The nuclear medical technician or technologist is primarily responsible for administering radiopharmaceuticals to the patient and, sometimes, for performing the tests themselves. Educational requirements may vary slightly for these types of positions; people with technical training in ultrasound or radiology can often be certified to work in nuclear medicine.
Some medical imaging technicians choose to specialize in mammography.
In addition to testing-related roles, a medical imaging employee may be responsible for a number of other tasks. Office functions like maintaining files and communicating with other healthcare professionals are also another important part of medical imaging jobs. Aspects of career descriptions, such as education, training, employment opportunities, and titles, can be regional and facility-specific.