Schools Training

Imaging All The People Living For Today: The Medical Radiation Scientist

13 JUL 2012
Career Path : Healthcare

If technology can be said to be the handmaiden of the healthcare industry, then there are few other specializations which have such a great relationship with this modern servant than that of medical radiation sciences. This is one of the largest and fastest growing fields in healthcare for many reasons, among the most important, as we continue our understanding and combating of the various forms of cancer. Because of the ever-improving technology and the growing demand of specialists and assistants in his field, there are many colleges and institutions offering programs of study in medical radiation science (MRSc). Is this career right for you? What kind of medical radiation science would best suit your career aspirations?


When researching schools, there is an ideal structure to the program that you should keep in mind. You want a program that introduces the student to all of the aspects of this science in the first year in a generalized common set of courses. This will give you a better idea of what specific area of MRSc you want to pursue, at which point you can specialize in second and third years. A good school will utilize integrated theory and clinical education while also giving you plenty of clinical practice experience in actual laboratories. Finally, even after specialization, you should be able to continue to work in an inter-professional manner with students in other MRSc programs.


A lot of healthcare careers in MRSc can be divided into three main categories: medical radiation technologist, diagnostic medical sonographer, and radiation therapist. While a good background in math and physics is highly valuable for all of these, these specialists also require excellent communication skills.


The medical radiation technologist is a radiography specialist who focuses on X-Ray technology to diagnose and treat injuries and illness with electromagnetic energy. They must be able to both assist doctors and communicate well with patients to ensure maximum safety standards during technical procedures.


A diagnostic medical sonographer is an ultrasound specialist who assesses medical conditions with generated sound-wave images. These specialists must be able to determine very subtle visual cues to help locate any unhealthy area or irregularity.  Like the radiographer, they too must be good with patients who will undergo seemingly unsettling examinations.


Finally, the radiation therapist is the specialist who administers the treatments to cancer patients using high-energy radiation. This is a sensitive career because of the nature of the patients’ conditions, and while being technically proficient, they must also be extremely compassionate and understanding with people. Often, the radiation therapist develops personal relationships with their patients who typically have treatments lasting many weeks. Radiation therapy also works closely with many other healthcare specialists, like oncologists, nurses and nutritionists.


Studying medical radiation science can be a long and enduring education. But the career at the end of the journey will be extremely gratifying to you, and appreciated by countless patients and their loved ones. Like the long journey of technology in the service of healthcare, the right healthcare training will put you in the right direction and help you reach your goals.


Visit Mohawk College for more information on health and technology.