Radiologist Job Description: 7 Essentials of the Profession & 6 FAQs to Analyze
Radiologists, or radiologic technicians, are to be medical professionals who diagnose and treat illnesses of a human body like doctors. Actually, a radiologist is a physician who reads and uses radioactive substances and various digital images through different equipment. That is why radiologists possess an extremely high level knowledge of medical imaging modalities. This is a radiologist who analyzes all the findings and makes diagnoses; but that is a radiologic technologist who specializes in actual performance of imaging techniques. Generally, they work directly cooperating with other specialists, so a part of radiology job description is taking over administrative duties as well. So, what is a radiologist?
7 Key Things to Know about a Radiologist's Job
Radiologist Job Description:
Unfortunately, general public does not realize who these specialists are or what service the patients are paying for. One should know that the actual value and significance of what radiologists do is the important decision-making process in medicine. To be frank, those professionals didn't work so hard and had not much business many years ago. They just performed either x-rays or fluoroscopy, because there wasn't any ultrasound, CT, MRI, interventional radiology, and so more. Finally, both emergency rooms and other doctors are fully dependent on radiologists. This is a radiologist who can tell what's going on. After all, here are tons of work and stress that people simply cannot see.
Typically, radiologists work from 7:30 in the morning until 5:00 at night. That's their normal working day. However, other meds may work even longer hours in certain places. Once a week, they can be on call for general radiology, getting a call nearly every 15 minutes. In addition, they have lines to their homes or teleradiology in order to look at the images from home while on call. On another week day a radiologist can be on the interventional call. So, if he/she gets called, he/she needs to go into the hospital and do a procedure lasting 1-4 hours.
Radiologists interact with every aspect of medicine: pediatrics, surgery, obstetrics, internal medicine and all sub-specialties. As a result, there is a wide range of things they participate in. So, it is really hard to get bored. To tell the truth, radiology specialists are basically "doctors' doctors" and "problem solvers". The key thing is getting enormous satisfaction from making a big difference in one's life every day. Besides, this is a collaborative process with all possible physicians which is also professionally satisfying.
One should keep in mind that radiologists only make money if they do something. Generally, they are paid "fee-for-service", that is they bill for what they do, and the government, insurance companies and/or patients pay for the services. A single technician doesn't own any of the equipment. In fact, there are 2 fees for radiology. On the one hand, this is a technical fee; on the other hand, this is a professional fee. The former is paid either to the facility or the equipment owner, where the procedures are performed. If to count the amount contributed to a pension plan and the salaried bonus, but not to count things like malpractice, insurance health, disability, it'll be right about $500,000 a year. It goes without saying that radiology nurse salary and pediatric radiologist salary differ much.
No doubt, this job is obviously financially rewarding. Nevertheless, the major reward is the patients' concern, as those healthcare professionals do make a difference both in lives of many people and for doctors, trying to help patients. Lastly, they make a difference in the community. All of the frustrations can be tolerable, because such a med feels like doing something worthwhile.
Everything starts with a 4-year college degree in order to get into a medical school. Then, there will be 4 years in a certain medical school, an internship, a 4-year residency, and a 1-2-year fellowship after that. As for further skills, they are to be the ones of a problem-solver and a good memorizer of things. This profession uses images and all sorts of information. That is why, 3 other key things are spacial and visual orientation, plus analysis skills. Consequently, if you are able to turn things upside down, forwards, sideways and backwards in your mind, with limited information, then you'll probably have the major necessary radiologist's skill. If not, this may be not the field for you.
A Radiology Technologist & Technician Job Description
Despite radiologists and technicians aren't the same, their task is similar. However, their salary and education vary, because technologists get a 4-year degree, while technicians get an Associate's degree. So, both radiologists and radiologic technicians produce X-rays of human bodies. As a technologist, they are responsible for the right level of radiation rays, as well as explain the procedure to patients. An important detail of a technologist job description includes equipment placement and test records. Sometimes, those radiologists' technologists must specialize in Computed Tomography and many other areas of interest.
Diagnostic Radiologist Job Description
Today, diagnostic radiology is a truly booming profession. More so, it is expected to increase by 22% because of expanding population. Pay scale reports show that diagnostic radiologists are able to earn up to $400,000 per year. A diagnostic radiologist supervises technologists, technicians and assistants. Also, this professional may examine images, looking for health abnormalities, consult various medical specialists, interpreting the results. The education period of such a specialist is quite long.
A Radiologist M.D. Job Description
If a person wants to become a full value physician, then it is necessary to get a full medical degree plus a doctorate. Radiologists M.D tend to treat diagnoses and diseases with the help of radiologic technology. They need to possess high medical knowledge of imaging modalities and findings to diagnose properly.
Radiologist Assistant Job Description
The easiest way out is to become a radiologist assistant. This position has been added to the radiology field. In these terms, there are own tests and own sets of education. The salary here is up to $115, 000. Radiologist assistants work closely with physicians to perform complex therapeutic techniques and medical imaging. The Master's degree and an ARRT exam are a must for this purpose.
Nuclear Medicine Technologist Job Description
A field of medical sciences involves rather tough but exciting work. A nuclear medicine technologist does not seek out diseases; he or she struggles with life threatening illnesses and diseases, for example, cancer or heart disease. These technologists look into the physiology and cellular function of a patient, in fact. Of course, this career is rewarding, the same as its salary. Therefore, it is needed to complete a certificate and Associate's or Bachelor's degree within an accredited radiologist school, offering that particular program.
To sum it all up, you should realize that the radiologist's job of any type is extremely difficult and physically demanding, first of all. You need to stand on your feet during lengthy periods, or while turning/carrying disabled patients. In addition, you have to be strong and careful at all times, having a lot of work or handling the equipment. Usually, radiologists work for 40 hours a week. Besides, they have to work at weekends, in the evenings and on request. Before this and that, you have to spend many years "at the university", and require much training. However, choose this profession when you have passion for this field. In other words, you should first deeply understand who a radiologist actually is. Anyway, getting a radiology education will definitely brighten your future with various radiology careers.