Careers Using Medical Imaging Equipment
Medical imaging-equipment technology careers allow qualified personnel to operate complicated, expensive equipment to perform medical tests on patients. The results are handed over to physicians who will use them to diagnose ailments. Most of these careers require completion of a certification program, some education and related work experience. Careers include electrocardiograph technicians, and cardiovascular, radiology, nuclear medicine and ultrasound technologists.
Cardiovascular technologists or technicians specialize in working with problems with the heart and blood vessels, or the pulmonary and cardiovascular systems. They perform patient tests on these systems and help interpret results. They may conduct or assist with electrocardiograms (EKGs), cardiac catheterizations, and pulmonary-function or lung-capacity tests, according to the website Health Jobs Start Here (healthjobsstarthere.com). The same source says these technicians can earn a salary ranging from $42,328 to $74,734 with a minimal training requirement of an associate's degree.
Electrocardiograph technicians run the EKG machines that monitor and document the electronic impulses transmitted during and between heartbeats. The impulses are shown as wave tracings on a rolled piece of paper. The EKG technician also attaches electrodes to their legs, arms and chest. People can become EKG technicians with a high school diploma and on-site training but can also complete certification programs. The average salary for this job ranges from $38,571 to $66,797.
Radiology technicians administer X-ray tests and operate X-ray equipment. Responsibilities include making sure the equipment is functioning and the controls are set so the test will produce appropriate X-rays showing density, detail and contrast. They can work in physicians' offices, medical labs or hospitals, or travel to patients in vans with the equipment. The technicians go through state-licensed certification programs that could last one to four years, while some employers may additionally require a college degree. They are compensated in the range of $50,357 to $76,918.
Nuclear Medicine Technologists
Nuclear medicine technologists administer radiopharmaceuticals to patients that creates diagnostic images when scanned through a gamma scintillation camera. The device creates images of where the radiopharmaceuticals are in the body as it emits signals from the patient's body. The technologists capture the images on film or a computer and prepare for interpretation by the primary physician. These jobs are in specialized areas of hospitals and can be obtained after going through a one-year
certification program, although some employers will require an associate's or bachelor's degree as well. The salary range for this position is $74,880 to $101,649.
Ultrasound technicians or diagnostic medical sonographers operate machines that record the activity of internal organs. The machines capture images of the patient's body. These jobs can be performed in hospitals, physicians' offices or via specialty vans. They require the completion of a two-year certification program, with the average salary being $61,589 to $89,710.
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