If you’re considering a career in radiology, there are a few things you should know in advance. There’s a lot involved in diagnostic imaging and it can be a rewarding career choice. For starters, you’re helping people that are often in the middle of a potentially life-changing health crisis. A good radiologic technologist will be able to use the equipment provided to capture clear images. The information below provides 7 different competencies that are useful in radiology. If these skills describe your abilities, then there’s a good chance that you have what it takes to excel in this field.
1. Math Proficiency
Studies to earn the required certification for a career in radiology will likely include courses in physiology, radiation physics, anatomy and patient care. These are course that are common in radiologic technologist programs. What you should know is that each of these courses have a math component. The reason why having strong math proficiency is necessary is because it will make it easier for you to earn certification and perform the responsibilities of the position.
2. Attention to Detail
Without a doubt, strong attention to detail is a required skill in radiology. That’s because making a mistake can be life-threatening for patients. It’s not like other fields where you can make a mistake and it won’t have serious consequences. Diagnostic images are necessary for identifying the medical condition that a patient has and sometimes it’s serious. Making a mistake in the use of equipment or during any other part of the process can become a serious problem.
Working in healthcare requires flexibility. This is especially the case in radiology because there are several departments in a hospital or clinic that relies on diagnostic imaging. As a result, you must be flexible and able to respond to the many requests made from colleagues. Sometimes there are emergency situations that need to be addressed immediately, which requires you to set what you’re doing aside.
4. Technical Savvy
Complicated machinery is used in radiology and it requires you to be a quick study. In fact, you’ll have to learn about new technology quite frequently because there are often changes. In addition to having strong technical acumen, there’s a good chance that you’ll have to train others on how to use machinery. There is certification offered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists that will confirm your ability to work different machines.
5. Strong Work Ethic
Having strong work ethic is necessary, regardless of what you do for a living. In radiology, it’s non-negotiable due to the importance of the job responsibilities. This means you’ll need to be accountable, on-time and committed to doing a great job.
Because of the many demands in healthcare environments, positions in radiology are mentally and physically demanding. It’s common for techs to stay on their feet for many hours beyond their regular schedule. There’s a good chance that you’ll need to work evenings, weekends and holidays. There’s also a chance that you’ll be required to maintain an on-call status.
7. Interpersonal Skills
Working in radiology requires you to communicate with colleagues across all levels. This means you’ll need to have strong interpersonal communication skills. You should be able to interact with doctors, nurses and patients in a way that’s effective and efficient. You’ll also have to communicate in a manner that ensures information is being relayed accurately.
If you believe you have all of the characteristics listed, there’s a good chance that you’ll excel in radiology. While there’s a lot involved, you will feel good about the contribution you’re making to the lives of others. It’s a meaningful career that can lead to a bright future.