Medical Diagnostics and Treatment Professions Video: Career Options
Medical Diagnostics and Treatment Professions Video: Career Options Transcript
Diagnostic imaging technologies and other medical diagnostic examinations are the backbone of modern medicine. They provide physicians with visualizations of internal organs and injuries, as well as other information that can aid in diagnosis and treatment. Medical diagnostics and treatment professionals specialize in the use of these technologies. Individuals who are interested in this career path can pursue an associate's degree in Sonography Technology, Ultrasound Technology or X-Ray Technology.
X-rays, CAT scans, ultrasounds, MRIs and other diagnostic examinations provide physicians with images of organ systems, including the heart, lungs and brain. Without medical diagnostics and treatment professionals, doctors and nurses would literally be in the dark when it comes to treating patients.
Job Duties and Skills
Doctors and nurses rely on diagnostics and treatment technicians to operate a variety of technologies to provide accurate test results to the ordering physician. During testing they also make notes regarding changes in patient conditions and any other information that could aid the doctor in making a diagnosis.
Technicians should be familiar with common diagnostic and treatment equipment repairs and maintenance. Excellent communication skills are needed to explain tests to patients and to calm any fears that they may have. Strong computer skills are also required to operate diagnostics technology, enter test results and record other information.
Community colleges and vocational schools are the most common training grounds for medical diagnostics and treatment professionals. Programs typically have titles like Medical Technology, Radiographic Technology, Cardiovascular Technology, Medical Sonography and Diagnostic Imaging Technology. Depending on the program selected, graduates may receive an associate's degree, diploma or certificate. These programs focus on developing technical and career skills, including the use of diagnostic and treatment technologies, first aid, medical terminology, anatomy and physiology. Most programs will also place students in internships with local hospitals and clinics to allow them to build their skills in a professional environment.
For most diagnostics and treatment professions, a state-issued professional license or certificate is required. In addition to a written exam, some licenses demand certified hours of work experience or a practical exam that requires test takers to use the tools of their trade in a simulated professional environment.
Bachelor's degrees are not required for most entry-level positions in medical diagnostics and treatment, but they can be needed for career advancement. Most department managers and supervisors have at least a bachelor's degree in a field like biology or chemistry.
Larger hospitals often have several departments dedicated to diagnostics and treatment technologies. Radiology departments employ sonographers, ultrasound technicians, MRI technologists and x-ray technicians. Cardiology departments require technicians to perform heart scans and other tests. Some hospitals have dedicated departments that perform CAT, EEG and EKG tests and require a variety of specialized professionals and technicians. With experience and possibly additional education, these professionals may be able to pursue department management and eventually hospital administration positions.
Some private clinics provide opportunities for diagnostics and treatment technicians as well.
Other career opportunities may also exist in equipment maintenance and technology sales.