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Career and Education Opportunities for Radiology Technologists in Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for radiology technologists. The national trend for radiology technologists sees this job pool growing by about 17.2% over the next eight years. In general, radiology technologists take x-rays and Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT or CT) scans or administer nonradioactive materials into patient's blood stream for diagnostic purposes.

Income for radiology technologists is about $28 per hour or $60,110 yearly on average in Washington. Nationally, their income is about $25 per hour or $52,210 per year. Earnings for radiology technologists are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Radiology in Washington and not quite as good as general Radiology category earnings nationally. People working as radiology technologists can fill a number of jobs, such as: radiation therapist, radiologic technologist , and radiographer technologist.

There are sixty-five schools of higher education in the Seattle area, including five within twenty-five miles of Seattle where you can get a degree to start your career as a radiology technologist. Given that the most common education level for radiology technologists is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, you can expect to spend about two years studying to be a radiology technologist if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Radiology Technologist

In general, radiology technologists take x-rays and Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT or CT) scans or administer nonradioactive materials into patient's blood stream for diagnostic purposes. They also includes technologists who specialize in other modalities, such as computed tomography, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance.

Radiology technologists inspect and evaluate developed x-rays or computer generated data to establish if images are satisfactory for diagnostic purposes. They also position and immobilize patients on examining tables. Equally important, radiology technologists have to prepare examination rooms, ensuring that all needed apparatus is ready. They are often called upon to explain procedures and observe patients to insure safety and comfort during scan. They are expected to direct work with clerical personnel or other technologists. Finally, radiology technologists position imaging apparatus and adjust controls to set exposure time and distance, in line with specification of examination.

Every day, radiology technologists are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for radiology technologists to remove and process film. They are often called upon to operate or oversee operation of radiologic and magnetic imaging apparatus to produce images of the body for diagnostic purposes. They also key commands and data into computer to document and specify scan sequences, adjust transmitters and receivers, or photograph certain images. They are sometimes expected to monitor patients' conditions and reactions, reporting abnormal signs to physician. Somewhat less frequently, radiology technologists are also expected to assign duties to radiologic staff to maintain patient flows and achieve production goals.

They also have to be able to take thorough and accurate patient medical histories and demonstrate new apparatus and techniques to staff, and furnish technical assistance. And finally, they sometimes have to operate fluoroscope to assist physician to view and guide wire or catheter through blood vessels to area of interest.

Like many other jobs, radiology technologists must have a strong concern for others and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Seattle include:

  • Cardiac Technician. Conduct tests on pulmonary or cardiovascular systems of patients for diagnostic purposes. May conduct or assist in electrocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations, pulmonary-functions, lung capacity, and similar tests.
  • Dental Hygienist. Clean teeth and examine oral areas, head, and neck for signs of oral disease. May educate patients on oral hygiene, take and develop X-rays, or apply fluoride or sealants.
  • Nuclear Medical Technologist. Prepare, administer, and measure radioactive isotopes in therapeutic, diagnostic, and tracer studies utilizing a variety of radioisotope equipment. Prepare stock solutions of radioactive materials and calculate doses to be administered by radiologists. Subject patients to radiation. Execute blood volume, red cell survival, and fat absorption studies following standard laboratory techniques.
  • Radiation Therapist. Provide radiation therapy to patients as prescribed by a radiologist according to established practices and standards. Duties may include reviewing prescription and diagnosis; acting as liaison with physician and supportive care personnel; preparing equipment, such as immobilization, treatment, and protection devices; and maintaining records, reports, and files. May assist in dosimetry procedures and tumor localization.
  • Radiological Technician. Maintain and use equipment and supplies necessary to demonstrate portions of the human body on x-ray film or fluoroscopic screen for diagnostic purposes.
  • Respiratory Therapist. Assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. Assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures; maintain patient records; and select, assemble, and operate equipment.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Radiology Technologist Training

Highline Community College - Des Moines, WA

Highline Community College, 2400 S 240th St, Des Moines, WA 98198-9800. Highline Community College is a medium sized college located in Des Moines, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,267 students. Highline Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Allied Health Diagnostic, Intervention, & Treatment Professions, Other Specialties which graduated nine and seven students respectively in 2008.

Tacoma Community College - Tacoma, WA

Tacoma Community College, 6501 S 19th St, Tacoma, WA 98466-6100. Tacoma Community College is a medium sized college located in Tacoma, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,942 students. Tacoma Community College has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated twenty students in 2008.

Clover Park Technical College - Lakewood, WA

Clover Park Technical College, 4500 Steilacoom Blvd SW, Lakewood, WA 98499-4004. Clover Park Technical College is a medium sized college located in Lakewood, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,781 students. Clover Park Technical College has a less than one year program in Allied Health Diagnostic, Intervention, & Treatment Professions, Other Specialties which graduated eleven students in 2008.

Pima Medical Institute - Seattle, WA

Pima Medical Institute, 9709 Third Ave NE Suite 400, Seattle, WA 98115. Pima Medical Institute is a small school located in Seattle, Washington. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 432 students. Pima Medical Institute has an associate's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated forty students in 2008.

Bellevue College - Bellevue, WA

Bellevue College, 3000 Landerholm Cir SE, Bellevue, WA 98007-6484. Bellevue College is a large college located in Bellevue, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 11,748 students. Bellevue College has 3 areas of study related to Radiology Technologist. They are:

  • Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist, associate's degree which graduated 38 students in 2008.
  • Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiographer, less than one year.
  • Allied Health Diagnostic, Intervention, & Treatment Professions, Other Specialties, associate's degree which graduated 10 students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist: The mission of the American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (ARMRIT) is to recognize individuals qualified as specialists in the use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technology which employs non-ionizing radiation to promote high standards of patient care and safety in the diagnostic medical imaging modality of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technology including interventional MRI, cardiovascular MRI, functional MRI, and MRI breast imaging.

For more information, see the American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists website.

Registered Technologist - Quality Management: The purpose of the ARRT Examination in Quality Management is to assess the knowledge and cognitive skills underlying the performance of the tasks typically required of staff technologists practicing in this specialized area.

For more information, see the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists website.

Registered Technologist - Sonography: The purpose of the ARRT Examination in Sonography is to assess the knowledge and cognitive skills underlying the intelligent performance of the tasks typically required of staff sonographers at entry into the profession.

For more information, see the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists website.

Cardiac-Interventional Technology: The purpose of the ARRT Examination in Cardiac-Interventional Radiography is to assess the knowledge and cognitive skills underlying the intelligent performance of the tasks typically required of technologists employed in this specialized area.

For more information, see the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists website.

Vascular-Interventional Technology: The purpose of the ARRT Examination in Vascular-Interventional Radiography is to assess the knowledge and cognitive skills underlying the intelligent performance of the tasks typically required of technologists employed in this specialized area.

For more information, see the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists website.

Registered Radiologist Assistant: The ARRT's radiologist assistant program incorporates the education, ethics, and exam standards that add up to the ARRT's Equation for Excellence.

For more information, see the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists website.

Biomedical Electronics Technician: Biomedical electronics technicians are expected to obtain knowledge of the principles of modern biomedical techniques, the proper procedure in the care, handling and maintenance of biomedical equipment and to display an attitude/behavior expected of an electronics technician who works in a hospital or healthcare environment.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Registered Ophthalmic Ultrasound Biometrist: Registered Ophthalmic Ultrasound Biometrist (ROUB) includes: Keratometry, Physics, Biometry Instrumentation, Instrument Settings for Biometry, Examination Techniques for Biometry, Sources of Error in Biometry, and Intraocular Lens Power Calculations.

For more information, see the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology website.

Nuclear Cardiology Technologist: Professional certification is a vital component of a successful career.

For more information, see the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.