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How to Become A Medical Imaging Technician

written by: R. Elizabeth C. Kitchen•edited by: DaniellaNicole•updated: 2/18/2010

This article discusses what a medical imaging technician is and what their job entails. It also discusses how to become a medical imaging technician and what the career outlook is like for them.

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    What is a Medical Imaging Technician and What are Their Job Responsibilities?

    Those who pursue a career as a medical imaging technician will use medical technology to help healthcare staff diagnose, treat and prevent diseases and conditions. Medical imaging technicians perform Computed Tomography (CT scans), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Mammography, Ultrasound or Radiography (x-ray), but most specialize in just one of these. They can also specialize in a sub-category such as Obstetric Ultrasound or Pediatric Computed Tomography.

    Medical imaging technicians are responsible for taking all of the necessary pictures and scans to help treat and diagnose a patient or to help prevent disease. They will also maintain and calibrate any necessary equipment and instruments used as part of their job and some will need to be able to make repairs. Medical imaging technicians are also responsible for inspecting their equipment and instruments to make sure they are working properly, efficiently and safely. Some employers require that their medical imaging technicians possess the proper certification and education to administer IV's and injections if they work in a specialty that requires contrast dye or certain areas of nuclear medical imaging.

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    What Education and Skills are Necessary to Become a Medical Imaging Technician?

    Most aspiring medical imaging technicians will need to take a program that is specific to the type of medical imaging they wish to do. For example, a person who wishes to do ultrasounds will need to pursue an education in sonography and a person who wishes to do radiography will need to pursue and education in radiography. Most medical imaging technician programs are focused on one branch of medical imaging, but there are a few colleges and universities that have programs that allow students to learn more than one type of medical imaging. Those who aspire to become a medical imaging technician often only require an accredited career diploma in their chosen medical imaging specialty.

    Medical imaging technicians can work in a variety of settings such as emergency medicine, family medicine and neurology. Depending on the field, they may require specialized education that is specific to their setting of choice. Regardless of specialty, all medical imaging technicians will need to possess a certain set of skills. These skills include attention to detail, strong organizational and communication skills, compassion for their patients, good problem solving skills and the ability to adapt to change. Most medical imaging technicians work a set schedule, but they should be prepared to work extra hours and be prepared to be on call. This is especially true for those who decide to work in emergency medicine.

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    What Education and Skills are Necessary to Become a Medical Imaging Technician?

    Medical technology is always evolving so medical imaging technicians are often required to update their skills. As this field grows, so will the need for medical imaging technicians. This is an in demand field and it is relatively easy to get into with the right education and the right set of skills.

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    Unknown. (2009). Diagnostic Radiology. Retrieved on January 23, 2009 from Radiology Info. Website: