Some Characteristics That Make Good Radiologic Technologists

radiologic technologists

A career as a radiologic technologist can offer a fast-paced job environment. While a lot of the skills can be taught, there are some qualities that make a good radiologic technologist. These characteristics include persistence, attention to detail, organization, people skills, and more.

Radiologic technologists are an important part of a healthcare team. They are responsible for dispensing ionizing radiation for medical diagnostic imaging, among other things. No two days are the same, which makes it an ideal career path for people who don’t want to feel bored at work. Let’s dive into these characteristics in more detail to see if this could be the career for you!

Learn about Dorsey College’s Radiologic Technologist program

What is a Radiologic Technologist?

Patients usually meet a radiologic technologist or technician when a doctor orders an X-ray. These health care workers help prepare the patient and take the x-rays. There are several types of radiologic technicians in the health care field. Some radiologic technologists specialize in a branch of radiology.

Some of the different branches include mammography, bone densitometry, and sonography. Those who specialize in a particular area may undergo additional training or education to pursue opportunities in that specific area of radiology.

Some of the job titles you might see as you explore this career path include:

  • Radiology Technologist
  • Radiologic Technologist
  • Radiology Technician
  • Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist (DRT)
  • Imaging Technologist (Imaging Tech)
  • X-Ray Tech
  • Radiographer
  • And more

Most radiologic technicians work in state, local, or private hospitals. But there are also job opportunities in other places. As a radiologic technologist, you may work in doctor’s offices or medical and diagnostic labs. Other radiologic technologists work in outpatient care centers and government settings. No matter the setting, you will need an associate degree. Many employers also ask you to pass a national certification examination before you can get hired.

Characteristics of Radiologic Technologists

In addition to a strong education, there are some key qualities of a radiologic technologist to keep in mind if you want to pursue this career. A good example is being detail oriented. Radiologic technologists must follow strict instructions from doctors, often called the radiologist. Attention to detail is necessary to avoid treatment mistakes.

Strong technical skills are also useful qualities of a radiologic technologist. They need to understand and operate complex machinery. They may also need to use math to figure the proper amount of radiation needed for an imaging procedure. Physical stamina is also important. As a radiologic technologist, you will spend a lot of the workday on your feet and will help lift and move patients. It is a physically demanding career but also a rewarding one.

In addition, some other qualities of a radiologic technologist include:

  • Collaboration
  • Working well under pressure
  • Interpersonal skills and working well with other people


Radiologic technologists need to be collaborative. They are part of an important healthcare team. They follow instructions from doctors on what areas of the body to image. Then they work with these doctors to check them and determine if they need to take more images. Depending on the work setting, they will also work with registered nurses. They need to collaborate with many health care workers to ensure patients get the best care possible. Working well with others is an important part of the work of a radiologic technologist.

Works well under pressure

Another important quality of a radiologic technologist is working well under pressure. Just imagine the typical workday. It might include:

  • Operating heavy equipment used to take X-rays and other diagnostic testing examinations
  • Maintaining a list of patient cases
  • Preparing patients for procedures
  • Taking images and analyzing them along with a care team
  • Keeping detailed patient records

Patients will sometimes come in after traumatic events or injuries. In these situations, emotions are high, and time is critical. A good radiologic technologist will have to balance many things in that moment. They will help with the patient’s comfort, the doctor’s instructions, and imaging preparations. Then they will take an X-ray or dispense radiation. There are a lot of moving parts! It is easy to see how a cool head in stressful situations is crucial.

Sometimes, radiologic technologists are also expected to see several patients at a time. This can add to the pressure of the workday. It is important to make sure you learn the skills necessary to help you balance the stressful duties of the job.

Interpersonal skills!

Often, a radiologic technologist will be with patients during vulnerable moments. You may encounter a young child who has broken a bone and is in severe pain. You may also see victims of accidents and violence. You will work with these patients to understand complicated medical jargon. The last thing these patients want is a dismissive medical professional. They want to feel heard. A good radiologic technologist practices empathy, active listening, and customer service. In short, a good radiologic technologist is a people person. It is an essential part of the job!

Is the Radiologic Technologist career right for you?

To become a radiographer or radiologic technologist, you will need an associate degree. Additionally, some states or businesses require certification before you can get hired. The good news is many programs aim to prepare you for this certification. Finding the right program is the best way to set yourself up for success to start a radiologic tech career.

If you are ready to start your career as a radiologic technologist, start your research! A few things to keep in mind as you decide on a radiology technician program:

  • Hands-on Training: Some programs include hands-on training through labs or real-life settings. Be sure the program you enroll in has this! It is a crucial part of learning the work of a radiologic technologist.
  • Program Structure: Is the program synchronous or asynchronous? Synchronous means you attend live classes (online or in person) with a teacher. Asynchronous means you can watch and learn at your own pace. Consider what structure you will learn best in.
  • Certification Preparation: Make sure the program curriculum includes the key concepts you will need to learn to pass the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) registry examination. This is the certification needed to become a registered radiographer. Many workplaces require this certification for employment.

Get started with Dorsey College

Michigan’s Dorsey College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Radiologic Technology. The education and training include:

  • General courses to introduce you to the concepts and characteristics of a good radiologic technologist
  • Specialized courses in radiography
  • Hands-on training

The program is designed to give you a solid foundation for the ARRT exam (required for many job opportunities) and give you the chance to learn skills for success as a radiologic technologist.

Students in Dorsey’s Radiologic Technologist training program can learn in a hybrid format. This means some classes are done online. Others require hands-on training on campus or learning in clinical labs. This is a great feature for students who are parents, who work full-time, or who otherwise need flexibility. Some of the learning can take place at home! Contact Dorsey College today to learn more!

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