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Careers in Diagnostic Radiology

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Careers in Diagnostic Radiology

Post by ┬«krypton on Mon Aug 10, 2009 6:42 pm

Careers



Careers in Diagnostic Radiology






  • Who is a Radiologist
  • Subspecialties for Diagnostic Radiologists
  • Radiological Assistant
  • Radiologic Technologist
  • Radiologic Nurse




Who is a Radiologist?


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A radiologist is a physician who has specialized training in
obtaining and interpreting medical images, which makes him or her an
imaging expert. These images are obtained by using x-rays (radiographs,
CT, fluoroscopy), or radioactive substances (nuclear medicine), others by means of sound waves (ultrasound) or the body's natural magnetism (MRI).

Nearly all physicians examine patients, obtain medical histories,
diagnose illnesses, or prescribe and administer treatment for people
suffering from injury or disease. According to American Medical
Association statistics, 1.2 percent of those physicians specialize in radiology.
A radiologist correlates medical image findings with other examinations
and tests, recommends further examinations or treatments, and confers
with referring physicians (the doctors who send patients to the
radiology department or clinic for testing). Radiologists also treat
diseases by means of radiation (radiation oncology or nuclear medicine) or minimally invasive, image-guided surgery (interventional radiology).

Like other physicians, a radiologist must have graduated from an
accredited medical school and has earned an MD degree. He or she have
passed a licensing examination, performed a year of internship, and
completed at least four years of graduate medical education (residency)
in radiology. Upon completing a residency, these doctors may choose to
enter a fellowship program and sub-specialize into one or more areas of
radiology.






Subspecialties for Diagnostic Radiologists


A
radiologist, through extensive clinical work and related research, may
also specialize in one or more radiology subspecialties.

Breast imaging
The
subspecialty of radiology devoted to the diagnostic imaging and
diagnosis of breast diseases and conditions. This includes mammography,
breast ultrasound, breast MRI, and breast procedures such as breast biopsy.

Cardiovascular Radiology
The
subspecialty of radiology devoted to the diagnostic imaging and
diagnosis of diseases of the heart and blood vessels, (including the
arteries and veins, and the lymphatics). This includes x-rays, CT (computed tomography or CAT), ultrasound and MRI.

Chest Radiology
The
subspecialty of radiology devoted to diagnostic imaging and diagnosis
of diseases of the chest, especially the heart and lungs. This includes
x-rays, CT (computed tomography or CAT), Ultrasound, MRI and chest
procedures, such as lung biopsy and drainage of fluid from the chest.



Emergency Radiology
The subspecialty of radiology devoted to the diagnostic imaging and
diagnosis of trauma and non-traumatic emergency conditions. This
includes x-rays, CT (computed tomography or CAT), Ultrasound and MRI.

Gastrointestinal (GI) Radiology
The subspecialty of radiology devoted to the diagnostic imaging and diagnosis of the gastrointestinal
(GI), or digestive tract (the stomach and intestines) and abdomen. This
includes fluoroscopy, x-rays, CT (computed tomography or CAT),
Ultrasound, MRI, and GI procedures such as biopsy, fluid and abscess
drainage.

Genitourinary Radiology
The subspecialty of radiology devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of
the organs of the reproductive and urinary tracts. This includes
x-rays, CT (computed tomography or CAT), MRI and procedures such as
biopsy, kidney stone removal, and uterine fibroid removal.

Head and Neck Radiology
The
subspecialty of radiology devoted to the diagnostic imaging and
diagnosis of diseases of the head and neck. This includes x-rays, CT
(computed tomography or CAT), Ultrasound and MRI.



Musculoskeletal Radiology
The subspecialty of radiology devoted to the diagnostic imaging and
diagnosis of the muscles and the skeleton. This includes x-rays, CT
(computed tomography or CAT), Ultrasound and MRI.

Neuroradiology
The
subspecialty of radiology devoted to the diagnostic imaging and
diagnosis of the brain and nerves, head, neck and spine. This includes
x-rays, CT (computed tomography or CAT), Ultrasound and MRI.


Pediatric Radiology
The
subspecialty of radiology devoted to the diagnostic imaging and
diagnosis of diseases of children. This includes x-rays, CT (computed
tomography or CAT), Ultrasound, MRI and procedures such as fluoroscopy,
biopsy and drainage of fluid or abscess collections.



Interventional Radiology
The subspecialty of radiology devoted to the imaging, diagnosis and
treatment of patients utilizing minimally invasive interventional
techniques. This includes imaging and treatment of the blood vessels
(such as angiography, angioplasty and stent
placemnt), biopsy procedures, line and tube placement, uterine fibroid
removal, fluid and abscess drainage, These can be performed with
x-rays, fluoroscopy, CT (computed tomography or CAT), Ultrasound or MRI.


Nuclear Radiology
The
subspecialty of radiology devoted to the imaging, diagnosis and
treatment of patients with trace doses of radioactive material. This
includes imaging of the heart, the skeletal system, and most organs in
the body (for example the thyroid and parathyroid glands, liver,
spleen, kidneys, lungs, etc). It also includes the treatment of various
conditions in the body such as a hyperactive thyroid gland and thyroid
cancer. The imaging modalities include a gamma imaging, PET, and PET/CT.


Radiation Oncology
The
subspecialty of radiology devoted to the treatment of cancer with
radiation. The radiation may be delivered from an outside x-ray source
or may be injected into the body.





Radiologist Assistant


A radiologist assistant (RA) is a high level radiologic technologist
(RT) who works under the close supervision of a radiologist to perform
and assist with advanced tasks. Specifically, an RA performs radiologic
examinations, is involved in patient management and evaluation, and
assists the radiologist with invasive procedures. The RA also may be
responsible for making preliminary judgments about image quality,
making initial observations of images, and forwarding those
observations to the supervising radiologist.

Although radiologist assistants are able to perform functions beyond
those of a radiologic technologist, the position holds certain
limitations. An RA may make initial observations of images but may not
draft an official written interpretation. Radiologist assistants may
not perform selected radiology procedures without radiologist
supervision.

The RA position is a new addition to the diagnostic radiology team.
Currently, there are 10 radiologist assistant programs in the country,
six offering master's degrees. Radiologist assistants complete an
academic program and a radiologist-supervised clinical internship.


Radiologic Technologist


The
radiologist usually receives assistance from a radiologic technologist.
Primarily, a technologist operates the radiographic equipment to
produce images. This involves explaining procedures to reassure the
patient and obtain cooperation, positioning the patient on the
examining table, and adjusting immobilization devices to obtain optimum
views of specific body areas. The technologist moves the imaging
equipment into position and adjusts equipment controls to set exposure
based on knowledge of the procedure and on established guidelines. To
prevent unnecessary radiation exposure during some procedures, a
technologist uses radiation protective devices, such as lead shields,
and limits the size of the x-ray beam. The technologist may also
operate mobile x-ray equipment to obtain images in the emergency room,
operating room, or at the patient's bedside. Technologists assist
radiologists in the use of plain radiology, computed tomography (CT),
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and ultrasound (US).

Usually, a technologist has undergone two years of formal training
or two - four years in an academic environment, leading to a
certificate, associate's degree, or bachelor's degree. With additional
training, a technologist can specialize and work almost exclusively
with specialized radiographic equipment. To remain registered, technologists must complete continuing education credits.







Radiologic Nurse


The larger medical centers may employ a radiological
nurse who provides for the physical, mental, and emotional needs of the
patient who is undergoing tests or treatment in a radiology department.
The radiologic nurse usually develops and manages a care plan to help
patients understand procedures and, later, recuperate from the procedures.
This may also include working with a patient's family.
The nurse can perform examinations or carry out
preventive health measures within the prescribed guidelines and instructions
of the radiologist. In addition, the nurse can record physician findings
and discuss cases with either the radiologist or other health care professionals.
Often, a radiologic nurse will assist during examinations or therapy.
Radiologic nurses must have graduated from an accredited nursing school.
Each nurse must also pass a national licensing examination.
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®krypton

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