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Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologist

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Job Duties 

Working Conditions/Requirements 

Education & Preparation 

Job Openings & Entry Method 

Earnings & Advancement 

Employment & Outlook 

 

Sources of Additional Information 

Medical Special Procedures Technologists operate and monitor diagnostic imaging equipment during the examination of patients by physicians in hospitals, clinics or other medical facilities. 

 

 


 

JOB DUTIES 

General duties of Cardiac Catherization Special Procedures Technologists may include: 

Position/immobilize the patient on the examining table following the physician's instructions 

Enter technical factors, such as the amount and quality of the radiation beam and film sequence, into the computer 

Activate the fluoroscope and 35mm motion picture camera (cinefluoro-graphy) to produce images that assist the physician in guiding the catheter (thin wire) through the patient's cardiovascular system 

Observe gauges, recorders, and video screens of the multi-channel data analysis system and alerting the physician to changes in the patient responses 

Assist the physician in instilling enzymes or inserting a small balloon in the patient's blood vessels to remove plaque or other blockage 

General duties of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Special Procedures Technologists may include: 

Interview the patient and positioning the patient on the examining table 

Place the specified coil (receiver), such as the head coil or knee coil, close to the body area of interest 

Enter data into a computer such as the patient's history and the patient's entry position into the aperture (opening) of the magnetic resonance imaging equipment (head or feet first) 

Input commands to specify the scan sequences, and adjust transmitters and receivers into the computer 

Observe the patient through the window of the control room and on the closed circuit TV screen 

View the images of the body area being scanned on a video display screen and inputting data on the keyboard of the camera to photograph the images 

General duties of CT (Computer Tomography) Scan Special Procedures Technologists may include: 

Positioning/immobilizing the patient on the examining table 

Administering the contrast media orally to the patient or assisting the physician in intravenous injection 

Entering data, such as the type of scan requested, slice thickness, scan time, and other technical data, into the computer 

Starting the CT scanner, viewing images of organs or tissue on the video display screen, and starting the camera to produce radiographs 

Evaluating the radiographs, video tape and computer generated information for technical quality 

General duties of Angiogram Special Procedures Technologists may include: 

Positioning the patient for examination, using head and/or shoulder braces 

Operating a fluoroscope to aid the physician to view and guide the wire or catheter through the blood vessels to the body area of interest 

Filling the automatic injector with the contrast media, setting the flow rate, and activating the injection of the contrast media, into the vessels 

Monitoring the video display of the body area and adjusting the density and contrast to obtain the best exposure 

Starting the filming sequence 

Reviewing the developed x-rays for accuracy of positioning and quality 

The equipment used may include: 

* Fluoroscope 

* Catheter 

* Digital Camera 

* CT scanner 

* Magnetic resonance imaging equipment 

* Radiographs 

* Head and shoulder braces 

* Videotapes 

* Head and knee coils 

* Automatic injector 

* Implantable Defibrillators 

* Computer (with Internet access) 

 


 

OCCUPATIONAL SPECIALTIES 

Medical Special Procedures Technologists may specialize in these areas: 

078.362-050  CARDIAC CATHETERIZATION SPECIAL PROCEDURES TECHNOLOGISTS operate diagnostic imaging 

equipment (during cardiac catheterization) to produce contrast enhanced radiographs of a patient's heart and cardiovascular system to aid physicians in diagnostic evaluation and treatment. 

078.362-058  MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING SPECIAL PROCEDURES TECHNOLOGISTS operate magnetic resonance imaging equipment to produce cross-sectional images (photographs) of a patient's body for diagnostic purposes. 

078.362-054  COMPUTER TOMOGRAPHY SCAN SPECIAL PROCEDURES TECHNOLOGISTS operate a CT scanner to produce cross-sectional radiographs of the patient's body for diagnostic purposes. (Computerized tomography is a diagnostic technique using x-ray photographs in which the shadows of structures "before" and "behind" the body section under observation do not show). 

078.362-046  ANGIOGRAM SPECIAL PROCEDURES TECHNOLOGISTS operate diagnostic imaging equipment to produce contrast enhanced radiographs of a patient's blood vessels to aid physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. (Angiography involves injecting substances opaque to radiation into blood vessels so that diagnostic x-rays of those vessels may be made). 

In addition to learning about these specialties, you may also find it helpful to explore the following Career Exploration Scripts 

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WORKING CONDITIONS AND REQUIREMENTS 

Medical Special Procedures Technologists work under the direct supervision of a physician, radiologist, or surgeon. Most Technologists work in the radiology/diagnostic imaging or surgical services department of hospitals or in free-standing (out-patient) diagnostic offices. Work areas are clean, sanitary, well lighted, and ventilated. The hazards of working with radiation are minimized by following rigid safety procedures. 

Technologists work an 8-hour day, 40-hour week. They usually work between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. However, some Technologists may work an evening or night shift in some hospitals. Some Technologists may travel in mobile vans equipped with magnetic resonance imaging equipment to nearby rural communities. Most Special Procedures Technologists must purchase their lab coats or uniforms. 

Special Procedures Technologists may belong to such professional associations as the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, the Society for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and the Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions: 

You Should Prefer: 

  • Activities involving direct personal contact to help people 
  • Activities of a scientific and technical nature 
  • Activities involving the use of machines, processes, or methods 

You Should Be Able To: 

  • Work within precise limits or standards of accuracy 
  • Rate information by using personal judgment 
  • Deal with people beyond giving and receiving instructions 
  • Visualize flat drawings or pictures as solid objects 
  • Communicate well 
  • Keep calm in emergencies and work well under pressure 
  • Understand medical terminology and principles 
  • See details/recognize errors in written materials, charts, and tables 

Math Problem You Should Be Able to Solve: 

How many radiation dosage units are in 1 kilogram of material that has 2 Joules of energy? 

Reading Example You Should Be Able to Read and Comprehend: 

The biological effects of radiation are directly related to the rate at which energy is deposited in living tissue. 

Writing Example You Should Be Able to Produce: 

You should be able to write a report explaining how a patient reacted to a specific amount of radiation. 

Thinking Skill You Should Be Able to Demonstrate: 

You should be able to look at a patient and then decide how much radiation to apply to them. 

Many employers require that the Special Procedures Technologist be registered as a radiologic technologist with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT ) and have an additional 12 months of specialized courses. To be registered, the radiologic technologist must complete formal training in an American Medical Association (AMA) approved school or hospital. 

EDUCATION AND PREPARATION OPPORTUNITIES 

NOTE: An additional 12 months of specialized course work is the minimum required by most employers. An Associate Degree (two years of study beyond High School) or a Bachelor's Degree (four years of study beyond High School) may qualify a person for this occupation. 

The following education and preparation opportunities are helpful in preparing for occupations in this Career Exploration Script 

***SCHOOL SUBJECTS*** 

0700 CAREERS , 0900 COMMUNICATIONS , 1000 COMPUTERS , 1800 HEALTH & HEALTH CAREERS , 2200 MATH , 2900 SCIENCE , 3300 TECHNOLOGY 

***VOCATIONAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS*** 

There are no Vocational Education Programs related to this Career Exploration Script. 

Students should obtain the local Education & Training Opportunities for information on what happens to students who successfully complete a program. This information is available at each high school or career/technical center. 

***POSTSECONDARY PROGRAMS*** 

149 RADIOLOGIC TECHNOLOGY 

Radiologic Technology programs provide opportunities to gain the knowledge and skills needed for employment in hospitals and clinics taking and processing X-ray photographs of patients for doctors and other medical specialists. 

Courses vary from school to school but may include: 

English & Speech 

Radiologic Services 

Mathematics 

Radiology Administration 

Natural Science 

Techniques in Positioning 

Anatomy 

Specialized Fields in Radiology 

Chemistry 

Clinical Practicum 

Radiologic Physics 

Medical Terminology 

Medical Law & Ethics 

Principles of Diagnostic Imaging 

Computer Science 

Search for a College and/or Instructional Program 

***APPRENTICESHIP OPPORTUNITIES*** 

There are no Apprenticeships related to this Career Exploration Script***MILITARY TRAINING PROGRAMS*** 

Please check the Military website at www.todaysmilitary.com 

MEDICAL RECORD TECHNICIANS 

Medical records are important for health care delivery. To provide proper treatment, doctors need complete and accurate information about patient symptoms, test results, illnesses, and prior treatments. Medical record technicians prepare and maintain patient records, reports, and correspondence. 

What They Do 

Medical record technicians in the military perform some or all of the following duties: 

  • Fill out admission and discharge records for patients entering and leaving military hospitals 
  • Assign patients to hospital rooms 
  • Prepare daily reports about patients admitted and discharged 
  • Organize, file, and maintain medical records 
  • Type reports about physical examinations, illnesses, and treatments 
  • Prepare tables of medical statistics 
  • Maintain libraries of medical publications 

Work Environment 

Medical record technicians work in admissions or medical records sections of hospitals and clinics. They work in land-based facilities and aboard ships. 

Helpful Attributes 

Helpful school subjects include general science and business administration. Helpful attributes include: 

  • Interest in work requiring accuracy and attention to detail 
  • Ability to communicate well 
  • Interest in using typewriters and other office machines 

Training Provided 

Job training consists of 6 to 18 weeks of classroom instruction. Training length varies depending on specialty. Course content typically includes: 

  • Medical terminology 
  • Medical records preparation and maintenance 
  • Maintenance of medical libraries 
  • Basic typing skills 

Civilian Counterparts 

Civilian medical record technicians usually work for hospitals, clinics, and government health agencies. They perform duties similar to military medical record technicians. However, civilian medical record technicians tend to specialize in areas such as admissions, ward, or outpatient records. Those working in admission or discharge units are called admitting or discharge clerks. 

Opportunities 

The number of medical record technicians in the military is unknown.. After training, new technicians each are assigned to hospitals or clinics, where they work under close supervision. With experience, they may assume supervisory positions and may manage medical record units or admission or discharge units. 

  E-Learning Courses and Programs 

OPPORTUNITIES FOR EXPERIENCE AND METHODS OF ENTRY 

High school courses such as biology, physiology, and chemistry as well as amateur photography are helpful in preparing for this field of work. Volunteer work in hospitals and with the Red Cross may serve to introduce you to the general area of health services. Reading the bi-monthly journals "Magnetic Resonance Imaging" and "Computerized Medical Imaging and Graphics" will also inform you of trends and related topics. Postsecondary programs in radiologic technology may provide experience opportunities. 

School-to-Work opportunities include: 

Informal apprenticeships 

Mentorships 

Job shadowing experiences 

Touring a local Medical Special Records Technologist employer 

Internships 

Volunteer work with a Medical Special Records Technologist employer 

Community service work with an agency 

The most common method of entry is direct application to employers. Assistance may be available from school placement offices, as well as a local office of Michigan Works!. Job openings may be located by consulting newspaper want ads. In addition, you should access and search the Internet's on-line employment services sites such as: 

Medhunters.com   
Medical Workers.com  

Michigan Jobs & Career Portal   

Michigan Talent Bank 

simplyhired.com 

Indeed | one search. all jobs. 

Jobster 

MONSTER.COM 

CareerBuilder 

USAJOBS - United States Office of Personnel Management 

You should also enter an electronic resume on these on-line services. 

EARNINGS AND ADVANCEMENT 

The earnings of Medical Special Procedures Technologists depend on their education, experience, area of specialization, and geographic location of the employer. 

Nationally, the hourly wages (mid 2009) of Medical Special Procedures Technologists employed by hospitals and related institutions were: 

Type of Technologist 

Middle Range 

Average 

CAT Scan Technologist 

$24.28 - $29.81 

$27.30 

MRI Technologist 

$26.39 - $32.84 

$29.38 

The median hourly earnings of "all" workers in the U.S. were $18.05 in 2008. 

In Michigan hospitals, the hourly wages (early 2009 of Medical Special Procedures Technologists were: 

Area 

Middle Range 

Average 

State-wide 

$23.88 - $28.31 

$26.04 

Rural 

$23.88 - $28.83 

$26.25 

Urban 

$24.43 - $26.55 

$25.36 

Depending on the employer, fringe benefits usually include paid vacations; sick leave; hospitalization, disability, and life insurance; retirement plans; tuition assistance; and parking. These benefits are usually paid for, at least in part, by the employer. 

A career ladder for a Medical Special Procedures Technologist may begin as a radiologic technician and proceeds to Medical Special Procedures Technologist, supervisor, and Chief of Diagnostic Imaging. Experienced Special Procedures Technologists with additional education may advance to supervisory or administrative positions. 


EMPLOYMENT AND OUTLOOK 

Nationally, there were about 45,400 Medical Special Procedures Technologists employed in 2006. Employment is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2016. The industry distribution for Medical Special Procedures Technologists looked like this: 

NAICS Code 

NAICS Industry Title 

% Employed 

620000 

Health care and social assistance 

95 

610000 

Educational services, public and private 

1.7 

560000 

Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services 

1.3 

-- 

Others 

2 

To find employers, click Employer/Business Locator. 

Physicians and surgeons are increasing their use of cardiac catheterization, computed tomography scanning, and magnetic resonance imaging to diagnose heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. An overall growing and aging population (which has a higher risk to such diseases) should result in a continuing demand for diagnostic imaging services and likewise for Special Procedures Technologists. There is a current shortage of these Technologists. 

There are more than 2,375 Medical Special Procedures Technologists employed in Michigan. These Technologists worked in hospitals, Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO's), outpatient health facilities, and diagnostic imaging centers. A few also worked in office-based group practices of radiologists. 

Employment of Medical Special Procedures Technologists in Michigan is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2016.An average of 90 annual openings is expected, with 60 due to growth and 30 due to replacement of those who retire, die, or leave the labor force for other reasons. About two-thirds of the Special Procedures Technologists are employed in Detroit area hospitals. The demand for these Technologists will increase as more Michigan hospitals establish cardiac catheterization, magnetic resonance imaging, and computed tomography scanning diagnostic units. 

MICHIGAN 'S AREA EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK TO 2016 

 

 

 

PROJECTED 

EMPLOYMENT 

NUMBER 

PERCENT 

YEARLY JOB 

REGION 

EMPLOYED 

GROWTH 

OPENINGS 

 

 

 

 

Michigan - State-wide 

2,375 

23.0 

90 

Ann Arbor Area 

160 

30.0 

7 

Battle Creek Area 

50 

18.8 

2 

Benton Harbor Area 

40 

21.1 

2 

Detroit Area 

1,030 

20.1 

35 

Flint Area 

155 

21.2 

5 

Grand Rapids Area 

160 

30.2 

7 

Jackson Area 

85 

19.0 

3 

Kalamazoo Area 

155 

20.5 

5 

Lansing MSA 

145 

29.7 

6 

Muskegon Area 

40 

22.5 

2 

NorthEast Lower Peninsula 

20 

28.6 

1 

NorthWest Lower Peninsula 

55 

32.1 

3 

Saginaw Area 

150 

22.1 

5 

Thumb Area 

20 

21.1 

0 

Upper Peninsula 

70 

24.6 

3 

West Central Michigan 

50 

21.6 

2 

 

 

 

 

Note:  Areas may not add up to state-wide total due to rounding, sampling, 

 statistical error or omission due to confidentiality issues. 

 

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SOURCES OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION 

American Society of Radiologic Technologists 
15000 Central Avenue, S.E.
Albuquerque, NM 87123
(505) 298-4500 Press 5
(800) 444-2778
 

Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions 
2400 N Street NW
Ste 500
Washington, DC 20037-1153
(202) 741-9854                                                    (800) 992-7224
 

 

American Registry of Radiologic Technologists 
1255 Northland Drive
St.Paul, MN 55120 -1155
(651) 687-0048
 

                                                                    

Cardiovascular Credentializing International 
1500 Sunday Drive
Suite 102
Raleigh, NC 27607
(919) 861 - 4539
(800) 326-0269
 

Michigan Radiologic Society 
120 W. Saginaw Street
East Lansing, MI 48823
(517) 336-5727
 

 

 

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