Want to get involved in health care, but don’t know what path is right for you? A lesser-known field is radiology: a specialty of medicine in which images of the body’s organs are interpreted to diagnose abnormalities. Becoming a radiologic technologist requires an associate degree, but beyond education are a handful of crucial skills that might surprise you. Here are the top four skills that will serve you well in the imaging and radiology department.
1. A Passion for Community Service
Even though being a radiologic technologist is a paying job, the core of the profession is helping and caring for patients and their families. You’re more likely to excel in the position and cherish the job more if you’re naturally predisposed to giving and helping others.
As a radiologic technologist who works in a hospital setting, you must work with every department in the hospital. Many days, you could be moving between floors and between departments on an hour-to-hour basis, so you must be flexible enough to adapt to quick changes. “You have to be on your toes, for sure,” one of our radiologic technologists, Brandon, says. ”And it’s also helpful to know the nurses and other front-line staff. Those relationships are so important.”
Not only do you have to move between departments while on shift as a radiologic technologist, but you can also expect that multiple doctors and nurses will need things from you all at once. The best technologists are great multitaskers, and can move between several tasks without diminishing the quality of any one. “You need great concentration and focus, but also the ability to go where you’re needed right away whether it’s helping on a code or assisting a co-worker who shouts out for help in a procedure room,” another radiologic technologist, Diane, says. “It helps to be aware and always nimble.”
As mentioned above, radiologic technologists must communicate with every department in the hospital on a daily basis. It is crucial to communicate accurately and efficiently, because the information provided will determine the doctors’ treatment plan for patients.
For more information about jobs in the imaging and radiology department, visit our careers page.