“Remove radiology from medical science and a majority of cases will become unreasonably difficult to be solved”.
This scientific combination of love for technology with a passion for helping others or better known as Radiology is only about a decade old. But since the discovery, it has played a vital role within the healthcare system. A patient rarely goes through the healthcare system without needing the involvement of some sort of imaging test, be it an x-ray or a CT scan.
“Radiology is essential to the diagnosis of many diseases, particularly cancer. Early diagnosis saves live. Without diagnosis there can be no treatment, there can be no cure.”
Radiology is the study and practice of diagnosing diseases with the help of medicines as well as technology. It is about distinguishing the existing disease in the body by making the use of imaging using radiological equipment. The field of radiology is broadly divided into two areas namely diagnostic radiology and interventional radiology. Here, one branch of radiology is about the specialisation of medicine using X-Ray images for detecting diseases or injuries whereas the other is the study of using imaging techniques i.e. CT Scans, MRI, etc., to provide treatment directions.
For pursuing a career in radiology, one must complete an associate, bachelor's or master's degree depending on the type of radiology profession one wishes to practice.
Career in Radiology
The field of radiology is expanding vastly in medicine. As it is closely related to modern imaging hence it gets the advantage of advances in computer technology. With extensive job and career opportunities in this field, in recent times the need for educated and professional radiology technologists in hospitals, clinics, and physicians’ offices are increasing rapidly.
The chances of having a great career increases when a radiologist poses skills like:
- Excellent vision and analytical skills.
- Strong technical skills, as they have to work on a computer.
- Complete understanding of medical and human anatomy that relating human health.
- Interest and a good background in Biology, Physiology and Anatomy are appreciated.
These abilities help workers connect with patients and conduct the procedures accurately.
Radiology professionals get personal satisfaction knowing that they help people to get the diagnoses and right treatments that in return help those patients to heal and live a healthy, happy life. Depending on one’s education and experience, careers in radiology span many roles. In general, after pursuing a degree in this field you can become Radiologist (MD), Radiology Technologists/ Radiographer, Radiology Technicians, Ultrasound Technician/ Diagnostic Medical Sonographer, MRI Technician, CT Tech/ CAT Scan Technologist/ CT Scan Technologist. The prospects for employment of radiographers are vast, both within the country and abroad.
Job Profile in Radiography:
1. Radiology Technician
2. Radiology Assistant
4. Radiology Technologist/Radiographer
5. Radiology Nurse
6. Ultrasound Technician / Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
7. MRI Technician
8. CT Tech / CAT Scan Technologist / CT Scan Technologist
Working sectors/places for a radiographer can be:
3. Public Health Centres
4. Diagnostic Labs
5. Nursing Homes
Radiology programs offer concentrations allowing learners to choose specific radiology career paths. For instance, two-year colleges may prepare students for associate-level careers by covering tests like MRIs, CAT scans, and X-rays. Those pursuing master’s degrees may choose from areas like education, management, and specific patient populations. Whereas those seeking medical licenses use radiology as main concentration but can also go ahead and specialize to treat specific populations. With experience, a bachelor’s degree can get higher positions, like lead technicians and chief technologists at an imaging centre.
The type of career also depends on the type of course, one involves. Now looking at some detail:
Medical Imaging: Undergraduate programs offer concentrations in specific types of medical imaging. Giving practical knowledge of operating MRI, CT, ultrasound, X-ray, or radiation therapy equipment. Programs like this prepare graduates for working as technicians.
Nuclear Medicine: Represents the cutting edge of radiology with some institutes presenting this concentration in undergraduate and master’s after this, graduates can find positions as nuclear radiation technologists or assistants, depending on their degree level. This even prepares graduates to sit for certification exams offered by ARRT or the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board.
Radiology Education: These programs provide radiology education concentrations to fulfil the requirements for radiation educators across the country. Courses are offered in curriculum development, assessment methods, evidence-based education, healthcare leadership, and research methods. Making graduates able to work as professors at higher learning institutions or as clinical educators in medical facilities.
Radiology Leadership: Professionals in radiology seeking leadership positions can choose this concentration in some graduate programs. Candidates study financial management, resource management, evidence-based administration, and information management. This does not typically include clinical requirements instead after this course graduates can choose to work as managers, chief technologists, and administrators within radiology organizations. These roles could also be landed with a master’s degree. These radiology professionals may get involve in performing several types of tests, including bone, PET, gallium, and MIBG scans. If providing excellent patient service, they can securely transfer images to doctors.
PhD programs: It focuses on research and prepare graduates to work in academia and nonclinical positions. They may work as professors, radiation physicists, helping hospital departments understand the effects of radiology techniques.
MD programs: It prepares the learner to work as a doctor with specialization in radiology. They may even specialize in a particular type of radiology, such as oncology. Specialities also relates to patient demographics, such as paediatric radiology.
Generally, Radiology professionals work in facilities which provide medical care. Whereas many practices in hospitals, or find work in physicians' offices, diagnostic centres, outpatient care facilities, and research centres or even in setups like educational institutions etc.
In addition to providing the foundation to the required certification for working in an individual state of residence, earning a degree from this also prepares an individual for a healthcare career that is challenging, important, and gratifying.
Radiography- the heart of modern medicine provides an abundance of opportunities as doctors rely on the precision of diagnostic tests that radiographers perform. It is an interesting work with the involvement of different activities the whole day, from explaining procedures to interpreting test results. Thus, as seen above after pursuing degree radiology has numerous career prospects.
It is rightly said –
Behind every successful physician, is an exhausted radiologist.