Technicians prepare patients by explaining each step of the medical imaging process. After instructing the patients to remove jewelry, clothing or other items that could interfere with the equipment, they position them correctly and protect them from overexposure, for example by covering parts of the body not being filmed with lead aprons. Occasionally they inject barium- and iodine-based contrast agents to improve image quality. After focusing the equipment and capturing the images on digital file or film, radiology technicians review the results of their work with radiologists, and take additional views when necessary. A radiology technician may also be responsible for updating patient records and maintaining the imaging equipment itself.
Radiologic technologists are radiology technicians who have progressed through continued education and training or those who acquired additional training and education before entering the field. Radiology technologists can do specialization in a particular diagnostic test, such as mammography, and those with more than one specialty are considered highly desirable by employers. Regardless of the level of training technician or technologist the precision work of these professionals enables physicians to diagnose and treat a wide variety of health concerns with accuracy and confidence.