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5 Ways that Radiology Has Changed Over the Years

In 1895, a German scientist named Wilhelm Röntgen accidentally made a discovery that would change the course of medicine and science forever. As he was experimenting with electrical currents, Röntgen discovered the X-ray, a technology that many of us take for granted today. Virtually overnight, the world of medicine changed dramatically, providing both doctors and patients with an innovative new method for diagnosis and treatment: radiology.

Since then, radiologic technologists have evolved to become a valuable part of nearly every healthcare team. Not only has technology expanded the possibilities of radiology, but the role of skilled radiologic professions has also grown considerably. For students considering a radiology degree, learning a little bit more about the history of this specialized field – as well as how it’s changed over the years – can offer a fascinating peek into what is possible in the future.

Here are five ways that radiology has advanced since its early beginnings:

1. Producing and storing radiographs looks quite a bit different than it once did.

When X-rays were first introduced, they were imprinted upon photographic plates made of glass. In 1918, the invention of film marked a major shift in radiology technology, offering a new medium for capturing these invaluable medical images.

Now, significant advancements in technology have brought radiology into the digital landscape, providing a high-tech method for both recording and storing all radiographs. A major benefit to this advancement is the ability to share images across various medical facilities and among professionals, allowing for a collaborative environment that benefits both doctors and patients. Also, the digital images can be stored as part of a patient’s long-term medical records, contributing to a “big picture” view of their health history.

2. Training and certification requirements have improved dramatically.

It’s not surprising that when radiology was first invented, there was no formal education required to use the burgeoning technology. In general, doctors were permitted to utilize radiology as they saw fit. However, in 1922, radiology technologist certification was implemented, requiring that professionals complete specific training. Then, in 1934, the American Board of Radiology was founded with the goal of certifying professionals to guarantee the quality of imaging procedures and the safety of patients.

Now, individuals considering how to work in radiology can choose from a range of study tracks. Generally, radiologic exams are performed specifically by trained radiologic technologists. However, specialties such as diagnostic imaging may require additional study or experience.

3. Radiology has become a field with many unique specialties.

Although early forms of radiology were fairly basic, today they are anything but. The basic purpose of the medical discipline remains the same (diagnosing and treating diseases using medical imaging technology), but it has branched off into many specialties. After graduating from a Radiologic Technologist Professional (AS) Associate of Science Degree Program, you can begin working as a radiologic technologist. But in the event that you want to expand your skills and training, your future could head in a number of different directions – it’s entirely up to you. For example, some of the subspecialty training programs available include pediatric radiology, emergency radiology, women’s imaging, musculoskeletal imagine, abdominal imaging, and others.

4. 3D radiology technology may improve patient outcomes.

New capabilities have introduced the possibility of 3D and 4D technologies, transforming the diagnostic possibilities of radiology for the better. Now, images are clearer and more detailed than ever, which allows healthcare teams to take a better approach to patient care.

For example, although ultrasounds are among the most popular types of medical imaging used in the healthcare field, the medium is somewhat limited. Traditionally, ultrasound images have been fairly low-resolution, leaving something to be desired in terms of detail. But 3D technology allows for dramatically improved resolution in ultrasound images, and it could result in a significant step forward for the medical field as a whole.

5. Modern radiology requires a skilled, collaborative team of trained professionals.

The early years of radiology often saw a single doctor creating and assessing the medical images, rather than a specially-trained professional. Now, modern-day medicine calls upon an entire team of healthcare professionals, tapping into their multi-disciplinary skills and talents to best serve the patient.

The radiologic technologist sometimes referred to as a radiographer, is the individual responsible for producing the medical images themselves. Using advanced technology and sophisticated techniques, the radiologic technologist captures the necessary images. A nurse may also be involved in the process, administering sedation and patient care if needed. Finally, the images will go to a radiologist, who evaluates and diagnoses the patient, developing a treatment plan suited to their needs. As a radiologic technologist, you will be part of a vital team, making a difference in the lives of patients on a daily basis.

 

Pursue a Future in Radiology with a Degree from ASA College

Radiology has certainly come a long way since its invention in the late 19th century, and it’s easy to imagine that it will continue to advance even further in the future. If you’ve been considering working towards your radiologic degree, there’s no better time to get started than today. According to projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job prospects for radiologic professionals are expected to grow by nearly 10 percent by 2028. For individuals with an associate’s in radiology, workforce demand has increased. This means that as a new graduate, you could have a wide range of opportunities to begin a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. At ASA College, our Radiologic Technologist Professional (AS) Associate of Science Degree Program is an ideal first step for individuals interested in a future in radiology. The degree program is recognized by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), which allows graduates to qualify for the

ARRT certification board exam in Radiography. After completing the program, you’ll be well-equipped with the skills and knowledge to dive into the field and find the career you’ve always dreamed of. For more information about how you can become a part of the future of radiology, apply online for ASA College today.

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