Is Being A Rediology Tech Worth The Risks Of The Job? Really, How Hazardous Is The Job Of Radiology Tech?

I have reviewed articles about being a rRadiology Technician from the OSHA site. Im looking for additional opinions from anyone out there already in this field of work. My plan would be to become a Radiology Tech and go for the additional year to finally become a Diagnostic Sonographer. Can anyone out the offer any additional info?


  1. Tammy says

    Radiology Tech pays well because it is a hazardous job. In fact, all rad. techs. must wear Geiger counters while working. If the radiation levels gets too high, they are immediately dismissed from work that day (which can mean a loss in work hours/money) and not allowed to return until their Geiger counter reaches a certain level. Unfortunately, many hospitals do not play by OSHA rules and keep techs working past their radiation limits due to staff shortages. THIS is when it gets really dangerous. Also, you can limit you exposure by following guidelines about standing behind shields while the x-rays are shot. Again, failure to abide by these rules (taking necessary precautions) will increase your exposure to harmful radiation.
    Best wishes.

  2. RadTech - BAS RT(R)(ARRT) says

    Don’t listen to Karia. It is a very safe career. We know how to protect ourselves, and we do. My badge readings are very low – basically what Joe Q. Public would get if he wore one everyday. We follow the rules of time, distance, and shielding to protect ourselves and our patients.
    There really are no risks from radiation if you protect yourself the way you’re supposed to, which isn’t difficult.

  3. Lissacal says

    I have been a registered radiologic technologist for over 15 years. Radiation is not a danger in my profession, as it once was. Radiation doses have been greatly reduced due to improvements in equipment, film, intensifying screens and even the developing process for the film. When we are just taking regular x-rays, we are not in the room when the exposure is taken. We are behind leaded windows and walls. If a patient needs to be held (for example, if they are unable to remain still for an image), we try to get a family member to do this. If we are in the room for an exposure, for example, a portable x-ray in ICU or a surgical suite, we use distance to make sure our exposure is little to none. If we are doing fluoroscopy (UGI or arthrograms), we use leaded aprons, and I always stand behind the radiologist and again use distance to my advantage. Radiation does not fly around a room all willy-nilly. It is a highly directed beam.
    We wear film badges which are processed monthly to check for exposure. My badge has never read ANY exposure. I have not known a technologist in my career who has received enough exposure to where he/she cannot complete their duties. In the olden days, when techs. got more exposure, they were not forced to take time off work. They were reassigned to paper work or quality control work.
    But you don’t know me, so I am providing some additional information, which you can check out. The following is from a website which has questions answered by qualified medical personnel who are experts in radiation and it’s effects. Here is what I found:
    “A well-run radiology department is a very risk-free environment in which to work. No one is given an assignment that puts one at risk. The monthly exposures are frequently zero or very low. All the staff members who are potentially exposed wear film badges to make certain that they are not exposed above certain levels. For instance, if you are taking a chest x ray, you are in another room and receive no exposure. If you are helping with a fluoroscopy, you wear a lead apron and the fetus is protected. Remember the x-ray beam is coned and is never directed at the radiologist or the technician.”…
    “There is no risk of acute effects from exposure from diagnostic x-ray equipment. There are threshold doses for these effects, generally a few Gy, delivered at high dose rates. Diagnostic equipment will overheat and fail long before delivering doses in this range. There is a theoretical risk of cancer from small doses of radiation, such as might be encountered by radiographers/technologists in the operation of diagnostic equipment. A few old studies show statistically significant associations between occupational exposure and cancer in radiologists. The exposures occurred many years ago, when equipment was much cruder and occupational dose limits were nonexistent. No such associations have been identified from exposures since World War II. I am not aware of any such associations for radiographers from exposure at any time. The risk of cancer is minimal to nonexistent from occupational exposures below current dose limits. Current data show that virtually all radiology personnel can perform their duties while holding their occupational doses well below the limit. The best way to insure that this occurs is for all personnel to wear their personal dose monitors correctly.”…
    The biggest risk we face in our job are back injuries. Try getting a x-ray film under a 400 pound trauma patient, for example.