Non-Medical Jobs Related to Radiologic Technology

Radiology is the specialty devoted to medical diagnosis and treatment through the use of X-ray technology. Radiologic technology encompasses imaging studies such as X-rays, MRIs and CAT scans, nuclear medicine and radiation therapy. Although radiologic technologists perform the tests and physicians interpret them, non-clinical jobs are available for those looking for an alternative career path that taps their skills in the radiology field.

Taking Care of Business

Clerical staff provide important services in the radiology field. These employees might be medical assistants or medical secretaries. Certified medical assistants can perform clinical tasks, but some are administrative medical assistants, who schedule appointments, manage medical records and handle phone communications with patients.

Medical secretaries perform similar tasks, and either might also bill patients and insurance companies. Administrative medical assistants and secretaries typically have a high school diploma. MAs might complete a formal course of education, but either can be trained on the job, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS.

Keeping the Machinery Humming

Alternative jobs for radiologic technologists include working as a biomed technician. The machines used in diagnostic and therapeutic radiology are complex and expensive. Medical equipment repairers – sometimes called biomed techs – maintain the equipment and make any necessary repairs. Biomed techs typically have an associate’s degree in either biomedical equipment technology or engineering, according to the BLS.

For more sophisticated repair work, a bachelor’s degree could be required for nonclinical radiology jobs. In addition to formal training, an apprenticeship period is common in this field. Biomed techs can become certified, although certification is not required. The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation offers a specialty certification for radiology equipment.

Getting the Words Right

Alternative jobs for radiologic technologists include medical transcriptionists who transcribe physicians' dictation. A high school diploma is necessary, as is postsecondary training. Most medical transcription programs offer a one-year certificate program, although some offer a two-year associate degree. In addition to community colleges and technical-vocational schools, medical transcriptionists can complete a training program online, according to the BLS.

Courses include topics such as medical terminology, the legalities of health care documentation, and English grammar and punctuation. Medical transcriptionists must be familiar with dictation equipment, computers and various software programs. They transcribe, edit and ensure the accuracy of dictated reports before the report goes into the patient’s medical record.

Splitting Atoms

Physicists are scientists who study the properties that govern space, time, energy and matter, according to the BLS. The American Association of Physicists in Medicine, or AAPM, notes that medical physicists, however, work with medical professionals to help them plan treatments for radiation oncology patients, make recommendations for the use of radioactive medicines and ensure the accuracy of radiation output from the machines used in therapy and diagnosis.

Medical physicists might specialize in therapeutic, diagnostic, or nuclear physics as well as medical health physics. The AAPM says a master’s or doctorate is necessary, although the BLS notes a doctorate is required. Certification is also required, according to the AAPM.