The Radiologic Technologist (Radiographer) uses imaging equipment to produce x-ray images (radiographs) of portions of the human body for use in diagnosing medical problems when prescribed by physicians. When providing these services, radiographers prepare the patient for radiologic examinations by explaining the examination and properly positioning the patient for the correct procedure. Radiographers utilize problem solving and critical thinking skills to perform medical imaging procedures to insure that the physician has the maximum amount of radiographic information in order to make an adequate diagnosis while limiting radiation exposure. By using variable technical parameters and measurements, the radiographer can produce quality radiographs.
Professional competence requires that radiographers apply knowledge of anatomy, physiology, positioning, radiographic technique, radiation biology and radiation protection in the performance of their responsibilities. They must be able to communicate effectively with patients, other health professionals, and the public. Experienced radiographers with additional education may enter specialized imaging fields such as special radiographic procedures, mammography, computerized tomography, cardiovascular intervention technology and magnetic resonance imaging. Further duties may include evaluating radiologic equipment, conducting a radiographic quality assurance program, providing patient education, and managing a medical imaging department. The American Society of Radiologic Technologists serves as a clearing house for professional information.