Radiology technician vs. sonography technician
Radiology techs use various imaging technologies, including X-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans, to create images of the body’s internal structures for diagnostic purposes.
Specialize in using high-frequency sound waves to create images of the body’s internal structures, such as organs and blood vessels
Education and Certification
- Radiology technicians typically complete a two-year associate degree or a certificate program in radiologic technology.
- They must pass a certification exam administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) or an equivalent state licensing body.
Sonography Technician (Ultrasound Technician)
- Sonography technicians typically complete a two-year associate degree or a certificate program in diagnostic medical sonography.
- They can obtain certification through organizations such as the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) or Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI).
- Position patients correctly for X-ray and CT scans.
- Ensure proper radiation safety protocols are followed.
- Operate and adjust imaging equipment to capture clear and accurate images.
- Develop and maintain patient records.
- Work with physicians to analyze and interpret diagnostic images.
Sonography Technician (Ultrasound Technician)
- Position patients and apply a gel to the skin to facilitate sound wave transmission.
- Operate ultrasound equipment to capture real-time images, adjusting settings as necessary for optimal image quality.
- Interpret sonographic images in real-time to identify any abnormalities or areas requiring further examination.
- Measure and record relevant patient data from the images.
- Work with physicians to review and interpret ultrasound images.
Areas of specialization
|Radiology Technician||Sonography Technician (Ultrasound Technician)|
|Radiology technicians can specialize in specific imaging modalities, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), or mammography.||Sonography technicians can specialize in various areas, including obstetrics and gynecology, abdominal sonography, vascular sonography, or cardiac sonography (echocardiography).|
|Radiology Technician||Sonography Technician|
|Radiology technicians primarily work with X-ray and computed tomography (CT) imaging equipment.||Sonography technicians use ultrasound technology, which employs high-frequency sound waves, to create images of the body’s internal structures.|
|They use ionizing radiation to produce images of the body’s internal structures, such as bones, organs, and tissues.||Ultrasound does not involve ionizing radiation, making it a safer imaging option, especially for pregnant patients or those with certain medical conditions.|
Professional organizations play an essential role in supporting healthcare professionals, including radiology technicians and sonography technicians. These organizations offer resources, networking opportunities, continuing education, and advocacy for their members. Here are some professional organizations for radiology and sonography technicians:
- American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT): The ASRT is the largest professional organization for radiologic technologists and technicians, representing over 150,000 members. It provides resources, education, research, advocacy, and networking opportunities for professionals working with X-ray, CT, MRI, and other imaging modalities.
- American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT): The ARRT is a credentialing organization for radiologic technologists and technicians. It certifies professionals in various radiologic disciplines and ensures adherence to ethical and educational standards. While not specifically a membership organization, ARRT certification is widely recognized and respected in the radiology field.
- Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS): The SDMS is a professional organization that represents diagnostic medical sonographers, including ultrasound technicians. It offers resources, continuing education, advocacy, and networking opportunities for sonography professionals.
- American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM): The AIUM is a multidisciplinary association dedicated to advancing the safe and effective use of ultrasound in medicine. It provides educational resources, guidelines, research, and networking opportunities for sonographers, physicians, and other healthcare professionals who use ultrasound.
- American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS): The ARDMS is a credentialing organization for sonography professionals. It offers certifications in various sonography specialties, ensuring that professionals meet the required standards of knowledge and skills. Similar to the ARRT, the ARDMS is not a membership organization but is highly respected in the sonography field.