Over the past couple of years, we’ve detailed the various types of medical imaging that we offer here at Fair Lawn Imaging. We’ve discussed when each is used and the difference between those that are better to view bones versus those that are better for soft tissues. We’ve talked about the future of medical imaging, as well as some of the more technical aspects of x-rays, DEXA scans, and open MRIs. Today we’d like to talk a little bit about what it takes to become someone who’s working with these machines.
Being Good With People
It’s important to remember that most people a medical imaging technician encounters every day are nervous. Sure, some patients are around to check up on how well a fractured femur is healing and aren’t really that nervous at all. They’re just in for a checkup.
Others, however, are nervous because they’ve been sent by doctors because the doctor isn’t sure what’s going on in their body. They might have some pain and afraid of what the technician might find. Those moments in the machine could change the course of their life.
For this reason, imaging technicians need to have excellent interpersonal skills. This includes not only telling people what is in the imaging but also what is not. It’s important to be able to calm people down while deflecting any questions that shouldn’t be addressed at an imaging center but will be addressed by a doctor.
A Sound Body
While you might not think that medical imaging requires a lot of strength, the fact is that there are quite a few reasons that it can help. First of all, some types of imaging require the technicians to be on their feet for the entire day. Technicians may need to help those who are overweight move from a wheelchair to the scanning table. Medical imaging technicians who are using mobile devices or wands might have to keep their arms or torso in odd positions in order to get the perfect angle for image collection. It’s also important to have good hand/eye coordination to capture the image.
An Ability To Learn Complex Equipment and Procedures
Most medical imaging equipment costs between $100,000 and a $1,000,000, and it’s so expensive because of the complexity it takes to create and build it. While they’re made to be as user-friendly as possible, they’re certainly designed to only be used by those with the proper training. If you read the instruction manual on your television all the way through five times before being able to get a signal, then perhaps digital imaging isn’t for you. But if you pulled it out of the box and had everything hooked up and running in 20 minutes, you might have the acumen for the diagnostic imaging field.
Attention to Detail
Nearly every resume, whether it’s for a book editor or a computer programmer, will contain the words “attention to detail.” But medical imaging is one of the fields in which this phrase is most important, because the details that are found with non-invasive imaging could save someone’s life.
An Interest In Making Some Pretty Good Money!
There’s no doubt about it: for someone who can handle those points mentioned above, the diagnostic imaging field can be a lucrative career choice. Many make more than $60,000 a year, and that salary can go considerably higher depending on the particular type of medical imaging that you specialize in. (Nuclear medical technologists tend to earn more.) Of course, the area of the country and the repute of the facility can also play a factor. The medical field is constantly growing, so a long career is pretty certain.
If you think being a medical imaging tech might be for you, there are many places across the country that can help you get your associate's or master's degree. Who knows, someday you might be working with us here at Fair Lawn Imaging!