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When you have a radiology exam or procedure, a variety of healthcare provider are involved. You may see radiologists, technologists, nurses, and others.
A radiologist specializes in the field of radiology. This person leads the radiology team. The radiologist interprets the results of exams and does certain procedures, such as interventional radiology procedures or treatments. They will also talk with other healthcare providers in other specialties as needed. The radiologist will send reports to the referring healthcare providers.
Radiology technologists do the various radiology exams. These include X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, mammograms, and ultrasound procedures. They get formal training in various types of programs, lasting from 1 to 4 years. They may have more study or training to specialize in a certain area, such as CT or MRI scans. Radiology technologists are certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.
Nurses often help with more complex procedures, such as procedures that need anesthesia. Or they may help with procedures needing IV (intravenous) medicines, contrast, or nuclear substances. Nurses may assess, watch, and note a person's status. They may also talk with the radiologist for specific care needs and teach people about their radiology procedure.
Medical physicists help to make sure of the safe and accurate use of radiation therapy. They work with the radiology team in treatment planning. They set guidelines for radiation procedures, make sure radiation doses are safe and accurate, and keep track of the radiological equipment. Their role may also include research and development of new technologies. A qualified medical physicist may have a master's or doctorate degree with 1 to 2 years of clinical physics experience. Medical physicists are certified by the American Board of Radiology or the American Board of Medical Physics.
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