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Career and Education Opportunities for Radiological Technicians in Charleston, West Virginia

For those living in the Charleston, West Virginia area, there are many career and education opportunities for radiological technicians. The national trend for radiological technicians sees this job pool growing by about 17.2% over the next eight years. Radiological technicians generally maintain and use equipment and supplies necessary to demonstrate portions of the human body on x-ray film or fluoroscopic screen for diagnostic purposes.

Radiological technicians earn approximately $19 per hour or $40,350 per year on average in West Virginia. Nationally they average about $25 hourly or $52,210 annually. Incomes for radiological technicians are not quite as good as in the overall category of Radiology in West Virginia, and not quite as good as the overall Radiology category nationally. Radiological technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: radiology technologist, diagnostic radiologic technologist, and ray technologist.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can study to be a radiological technician, among seventeen schools of higher education total in the Charleston area. Given that the most common education level for radiological technicians is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, it will take about two years to learn to be a radiological technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Radiological Technician

In general, radiological technicians maintain and use equipment and supplies necessary to demonstrate portions of the human body on x-ray film or fluoroscopic screen for diagnostic purposes.

Radiological technicians decide on patients' x-ray needs by reading requests or instructions from physicians. They also ready and prepare x-ray room for patient. Equally important, radiological technicians have to use beam-restrictive devices and patient-shielding techniques to minimize radiation exposure to patient and staff. They are often called upon to process exposed radiographs using film processors or computer generated methods. They are expected to furnish assistance to physicians or other technologists in the performance of more complex procedures. Finally, radiological technicians ready and prepare x-ray room for patient.

Every day, radiological technicians are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for radiological technicians to assist with on-the-job training of new employees and students, and furnish input to supervisors regarding training performance. They are often called upon to explain procedures to patients to decrease anxieties and obtain cooperation. They also perform procedures such as linear tomography, mammography, sonograms, joint and cyst aspirations, routine contrast studies, routine fluoroscopy and examinations of the head and extremities under supervision of physician. They are sometimes expected to maintain a current file of examination protocols. Somewhat less frequently, radiological technicians are also expected to operate mobile x-ray equipment in operating room or at patient's bedside.

Radiological technicians sometimes are asked to complete quality control efforts, monitor apparatus operation, and report malfunctioning apparatus to supervisor. They also have to be able to perform general administrative tasks such as answering phones, scheduling patient appointments, or pulling and filing films And finally, they sometimes have to furnish assistance to physicians or other technologists in the performance of more complex procedures.

Like many other jobs, radiological technicians must have a strong concern for others and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Charleston include:

  • 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.
  • Radiology Technologist. Take x-rays and Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT or CT) scans or administer nonradioactive materials into patient's blood stream for diagnostic purposes. Includes technologists who specialize in other modalities, such as computed tomography, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance.
  • 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.
  • Surgical Technician. Assist in operations, under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, or other surgical personnel. May help set up operating room, prepare and transport patients for surgery, adjust lights and equipment, pass instruments and other supplies to surgeons and surgeon's assistants, hold retractors, and help count sponges, needles, and instruments.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Radiological Technician Training

University of Charleston - Charleston, WV

University of Charleston, 2300 MacCorkle Avenue, SE, Charleston, WV 25304. University of Charleston is a small university located in Charleston, West Virginia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,431 students and an admission rate of 66%. University of Charleston has 2 areas of study related to Radiological Technician. They are:

  • Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist, bachelor's degree which graduated 8 students in 2008.
  • Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiographer, bachelor's degree.

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: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia photo by Malepheasant

Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.