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Radiology Technician Career History

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the radiology technician career is expected to grow leaps and bounds in the coming year; in fact, over the next decade, there is expected to be a 17% increase in job opportunities. That’s a fairly staggering number by any standard, but, given the fact that many industries are still reeling from the bad economy, it’s positively amazing, and suggests, of course, that this is a field well worth pursuing.

But how much do you know about radiology technician history? Believe it or not, this field has been around for a long time; though it is still evolving and expanding all the time, it is by no means a new discipline within the medical field. Consider this brief radiology technician career history and see if it doesn’t offer you a better understanding of exactly what this field is all about.

Radiology, of course, is the field in which doctors obtain and interpret images of inside the human body, and that really all started with the X-ray. The X-ray—and with it the field of radiology—was born in 1895. The inventor was a German scientist named Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, and in 1901 he was awarded with the Nobel Prize in Physics—as well as the title Father of Radiology.

At first, of course, X-rays were met with skepticism, as many new technologies are. Doctors were reluctant to implement them in their own practices. It did not take long for the practical uses of the X-ray—in both diagnosing and treating diseases—to become apparent. More and more doctors began to bring X-ray machines into their practices, and, as they came to rely on them, they realized that they could not afford to spend so much time maintaining the machinery, and thus began hiring assistants. Thus, the position of the radiology technician was born.

Another figure who was important in the formation of this career is a man named Ed C. Jerman. Jerman was right there with Roentgen, even duplicating his early X-ray experiments in the late 1890’s. Once X-ray machinery became more commonplace—and once doctors began hiring assistants—Jerman realized his vital it was for these individuals to be trained in the proper safety precautions necessary for handling these potentially dangerous machines. He began what were essentially the first radiology technician training courses.

Since then, and particularly since the 1970s, the field has been exploding. Nowadays, radiology is about a lot more than just X-rays; it also encompasses sonograms, mammography, CT scans, ultrasounds, MRIs, and more. It is a vital field both for its diagnostic functions and even for the treatment options it affords. It’s little wonder, then, that the radiology technician is such a vital member of the medical support team, or that jobs in this discipline continue to be so abundant.

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