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What Are the Key Skills of a CT Technologist?

A computed tomography (CT) technologist has an important job: conducting CT scans. However, there’s more to this job than just operating a piece of equipment. What skills are necessary for a CT tech to excel in the role?

Technical skills

CT scans can be very helpful in making a diagnosis. This type of test provides cross-sectional x-ray images of tissues, bones, organs, and blood vessels in a particular area of a patient’s body. In addition to positioning patients correctly, techs assist doctors in administering oral or intravenous sedatives to patients before a scan. Education programs cover the subject areas necessary to ensure that techs are prepared for these and other aspects of the position.

In addition, given that some patients receive medication for CT exams, techs must know how to recognize allergic reactions to the medication. They must also be able to work with or around IVs, catheters, or other medical equipment that might be attached to a patient. Collaboration and communication are very important: working with or around this medical equipment can require teamwork between the CT and a nurse or radiologist.

Technological skills

Although running the tests is an important part of the job, CT techs also make sure the equipment is functioning properly. This includes running calibrations and quality control, as well as other duties, to maintain the imaging equipment. This behind-the-scenes aspect of the job is a necessary step to ensure that the equipment remains in excellent condition so it yields the best possible results.

The technological aspect of this job can come into play in another way, as well. When CT techs have an aptitude for the technology of the field, they may begin to specialize in a specific area. Areas of specialization include mammography, magnetic resonance imaging, quality management, and sonography.

People skills

A CT tech, like anyone directly involved in patient care, must have people skills. The technologist must have a friendly demeanor that assuages any potential patient fears; the CT technologist explains the basics of the test to the patient and answers any questions the patient may have.

There are a few specific traits that can help CT techs put patients at ease. A CT tech should be confident, friendly, and engaging; the tech shouldn’t be cocky. In addition, it helps for a tech to have an upbeat attitude; this can be especially helpful for many patients who may be very nervous about the test or about what the results may be.

Do you want to be a CT tech?

At 365 Healthcare Staffing Services, we specialize in the recruitment and placement of healthcare professionals in per diem, travel, and permanent assignments in healthcare facilities across the country. CT techs fulfill an important role, and these skills are an essential part of that. Are you considering a career as a CT tech? We’ll be here when you’re looking for the perfect assignment; we’re at 310.436.3650, and we’ll be waiting for your call.