Those with radiologic technologist careers know what it’s like to be part of one of the best healthcare support jobs as recognized by U.S. News & World Report. Radiologic technologists perform diagnostic imaging exams, such as X-rays, for radiologists who interpret the images.
No matter which of the radiologic technologist careers you choose, you are likely to work with children. According to Keith Strauss, MSc, FAAPM, FACR of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, only about 20 percent of pediatric imaging exams take place in a dedicated children’s hospitals.
Knowing that you’re likely to work with children as a radiologic technologist, it’s worth exploring pediatric radiology.
Children and youth who need diagnostic imaging range from birth to 18 or 21 years old. Their bodies, brains, and bones are growing at a rapid pace and are much different than an adult. A physician may request X-rays to view a child’s condition, such as, but not limited to:
All radiologic technologist careers require the skills, knowledge, and ability to work with individuals and diagnostic imaging equipment. How a radiologic technologist uses the imaging equipment for children can be different than how a radiologic technologist uses that same equipment for an adult.
Most imaging equipment is designed for an adult-sized body. This large, unfamiliar equipment can be overwhelming and scary for small children. Depending on a child’s age, size, disposition, developmental stage, and medical condition, they may need your assistance to get into the necessary imaging positions.
Children are also more radiosensitive than adults. This means that children are more vulnerable than adults to electromagnetic radiation even with the appropriate amount of X-ray exposure because young body tissue is more delicate than adult body tissue.
When children do need X-rays, it’s critical to their long-term health to expose them to the least amount of radiation necessary to capture clear diagnostic images. As you would expect, professionals with radiologic technologist careers need to know how to adjust equipment settings for use with children and adults.
In December 2017, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a final guidance document that included recommendations encouraging X-ray equipment manufacturers to provide protocols and operating instructions for pediatric use, and to design their devices with children in mind.
This regulation is one of many that are designed to protect children’s health and well-being. The FDA reminds us that, “the individual risk from X-ray imaging is small when compared to the benefits that it can provide through helping with an accurate diagnosis.”
Such regulations in high-tech, high-touch professions do more than help protect patients; they provide direction, consistency, and common points of reference for an ever-evolving radiologic technologist career field.
Pediatric Radiologic Technologists
As you consider your radiologic technologist career options, you might be wondering if pediatric radiology is for you. Working with children who are ill or injured is not for everyone, but for those who choose to do so, there’s nothing quite like it.
Those who are drawn to pediatric radiologic technologist careers often report that the rewards of watching children get healthy make the stress of their healthcare profession worth it.
Here are some common traits of pediatric radiologic technologists:
Become a Radiologic Technologist at CUKC
Begin your radiologic technologist career with a degree from Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC). You can complete the accelerated Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Radiologic Technology degree in as little as two years. Our A.A.S. degree program combines classwork, lab time, and clinical experiences to prepare you to become a registered radiologic technologist.
CUKC is a nonprofit, private, healthcare-focused university located in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City.
The radiologic technology program at CUKC was designed with the guidance of imaging center professionals, and instructors have real-life experience doing the imaging work they are teaching. The CUKC program puts an equal emphasis on patient interaction skills and technical competency so that you are prepared to work with patients from children to seniors.
Other advantages of starting your radiography career with a degree from CUKC:
For more details on becoming a radiologic technologist, go to the CUKC Open House page or get the free ebook Your Complete Guide to a Career as a Radiologic Technologist now!
Blog updated 09/19/2019.