How to become a Medical Imaging Technologist

Medical Imaging Technologist

Medical imaging technologists operate X-ray and other imaging equipment, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound, to produce radiographic images that are used in the diagnosis and subsequent management of disease or injury. Experienced medical imaging technologists may be able to develop further skills in image interpretation.

Personal requirements for a Medical Imaging Technologist

  • Aptitude for science
  • Able to work accurately
  • Able to work as part of a team
  • Eye for detail
  • Enjoy helping people

Education & Training for a Medical Imaging Technologist

To become a medical imaging technologist you usually have to complete a degree in medical radiation science or medical imaging at university. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics are normally required. You may be required to attend an interview. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.


Additional information

Depending on the length of the university course, some graduates are required to complete a year of clinical practice in an accredited radiology department. Those completing a four-year degree with the necessary clinical component are not required to undertake this additional year. Before undertaking clinical placements required by courses, students will need to obtain a National Police Certificate, a Provide First Aid Certificate and immunisations, and undergo a Working with Children Children. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. You must also obtain a licence to operate radiation equipment from the regulatory body in your state or territory.

Duties & Tasks of a Medical Imaging Technologist

Medical imaging technologists:

  • Receive and interpret requests from medical practitioners for X-ray examinations to be performed on patients
  • Determine the appropriate imaging techniques to provide doctors with diagnostic information
  • Calculate details of procedures (such as length and intensity of exposure to radiation) and settings of recording equipment
  • Explain procedures to patients and address any concerns they have about radiation processes
  • Ensure patients undergo the correct preparation for the procedure
  • Correctly position the patient and imaging equipment to obtain the best image of the area being examined
  • Ensure the patient's welfare during the examination, particularly their exposure to radiation
  • Develop the X-ray films
  • Inspect images to determine if any further views are necessary
  • Operate special equipment such as fluoroscopy equipment (which gives a moving image of the part being examined), angiography equipment (which gives images of blood vessels) and computed tomography (CT) equipment (which gives cross-sectional images of the body).

Tasks

  • Positioning patients, screens and equipment preparatory to procedures.
  • Receiving referrals from Medical Practitioners to perform medical imaging and radiation treatment of patients.
  • Ensuring patients' welfare during procedures.
  • Calculating details of procedures such as length and intensity of exposure to radiation, size and strength of dosage of isotopes, and settings of recording equipment.
  • Conveying findings of procedures to Medical Practitioners.
  • Determining the appropriate equipment to use, such as X-ray equipment, radiation scanners, fluoroscopes, ultrasound equipment, nuclear instrumentation, angiography equipment and computed tomography (CT) equipment, and selecting the appropriate equipment settings to provide the diagnostic information requested by Medical Practitioners.
  • Viewing the screen and deciding if images are satisfactory for diagnostic purposes, and selecting images to show Medical Practitioners.
  • Explaining procedures to patients and answering patients' inquiries about processes.

Working conditions for a Medical Imaging Technologist

Medical imaging technologists who are employed in hospitals may work in the radiology department, use mobile X-ray units at patients' bedsides or work in an operating theatre. They work as part of a team with other healthcare professionals, medical staff and nursing staff. Hours of work may involve weekend or shiftwork. Participation in an on-call roster for after-hours emergencies may also be required.


Employment Opportunities for a Medical Imaging Technologist

Medical imaging technologists are employed in public and private hospitals, as well as private radiology practices in metropolitan and rural locations. Demand for medical imaging technologists has grown over the past few years. This has mainly been due to new and expanding techniques such as MRI and ultrasound, which aid in the diagnosis and treatment of various medical conditions.


Specializations

Sonographer

A sonographer operates ultrasound machines and related equipment to produce images for medical diagnostic purposes.

MRI Radiographer

A MRI radiographer operates MRI scanners and ensures patient safety during the procedure to produce detailed images.

MRI Radiographer

A MRI radiographer operates MRI scanners and ensures patient safety during the procedure to produce detailed images.

Medical Imaging Technologist

Medical imaging technologists operate X-ray and other imaging equipment, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound, to produce radiographic images that are used in the diagnosis and subsequent management of disease or injury. Experienced medical imaging technologists may be able to develop further skills in image interpretation.

Sonographer

A sonographer operates ultrasound machines and related equipment to produce images for medical diagnostic purposes.

  • Average age
    Average age
    37 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
    Strong
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    71% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    41 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
    $2,354
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Very high skill
  • Unemployment
    Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    67% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    20,500 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 1.7%
    NSW: 33.5%
    NT: 0.7%
    QLD: 21.9%
    SA: 7.9%
    TAS: 2.0%
    VIC: 23.1%
    WA: 9.3%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 0.1%
    20-24: 8.4%
    25-34: 35.7%
    35-44: 25%
    45-54: 17%
    55-59: 7.3%
    60-64: 4.6%
    65 and Over: 1.9%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 14.4%
    Bachelor degree: 53.5%
    Certificate III/IV: 0.4%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 30.2%
    Year 10 and below: 0.2%
    Year 11: 0%
    Year 12: 1.4%
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