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Oswego Career Ladders - Mammographer

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Mammographer

Industry: Healthcare
Area: Radiology

Mammograms are probably the most important tool doctors have to help them diagnose, evaluate, and follow women who've had breast cancer. Safe and highly accurate, a mammogram is an X-ray photograph of the breast. The technique has been in use for about thirty years.

Mammographers coordinate and administer all mammography procedures including positioning patients and adjusting the equipment for mammogram films, operate the mammography equipment, deliver film to radiologist for reading/interpretation, instruct patients regarding the procedures, confirm the patient's history, communicate patient's areas of concern to physicians, select the length and intensity of radiation exposure, ensure films and records are properly completed and labeled, ensure quality assurance and control procedures are followed and maintain the examining rooms.

Work Settings

Mammographers work in radiology departments in hospitals and clinics.

Education

Preparation for this profession is offered in hospitals, colleges and universities, vocational-technical institutes, and the U.S. Armed Forces. Hospitals, which employ most radiologic technologists and technicians, prefer to hire those with formal training.

Formal training programs in radiography range in length from 1 to 4 years and lead to a certificate, associate degree, or bachelors degree. Two-year associate degree programs are most prevalent.

Job Outlook

Career in radiologic technology offers a promising future, job stability and good salaries. As technology advances and the American population ages, the demand for radiologic exams and procedures has soared. The country needs a growing number of qualified professionals to provide medical imaging and radiation therapy.

Salary

Wages of radiologic technologists are competitive with other health professionals who have similar educational backgrounds. A 2001 survey by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists showed that wages averaged about $16 per hour for entry-level radiographer.

Work Schedule

Many employers allow radiologic technologists to work flexible schedules, including part-time or evenings.

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