Section III: DUTIES BY SKILL LEVEL
SKILL LEVEL 1: 91P10 (E-1 THROUGH E-4)
a. Introduction. This somewhat dry section of the lesson covers duties by skill
level as prescribed by the official guidelines of AR 611-201, Enlisted Career
Management Fields and Military Occupational Specialties. As an entry-level
radiographer, you will be required to do many things, but the following section describes
the tasks that you will be expected to learn and for which you will be expected to
demonstrate proficiency. This material is included because you need a clear sense of
what is expected of you at each skill level in order to do what is right from the ethical
and legal standpoint. That said, it must also be recognized that the formal guidelines
are only that-guidelines. What you actually do on the job will depend on the unique
requirements of your assignment, e.g., the patient load, the number of x-ray
technologists assigned to your department, etc.
b. Interpreting X-ray Requests and Physician's Orders. As an entry-level
radiographer, you will be expected to accurately read and interpret x-ray requisitions
and even medical records, if necessary. You must be able to understand precisely what
examination(s) and position(s) the physician expects you to perform. Included on most
requisitions are patient histories and medical information that may be critical for you to
interpret so as to avoid harming the patient and to perform your job successfully.
c. Moving and Escorting Patients Within the X-Ray Area. You will find that
most patients requiring an imaging procedure, whether it is x-ray, ultrasonography,
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or computed tomography (CT), will be able to walk
and get from one place to another with little or no problem. There is, however, a small
percentage that may have to be moved by wheel chair or stretcher or require your
assistance to get them to the x-ray area. This may sound easy. But, in fact, there are
many things to consider when moving or escorting a patient. Your patient may have a
potentially fractured bone or a severe hemorrhage or laceration. Your patient may be
an invalid or a newborn. Each of these situations requires expertise and know-how.
Have you ever lifted a 350-pound person?
d. Preparing, Assembling, and Adjusting Instruments, Materials, and
Equipment. A radiographer should be organized and prepared prior to performing any
radiographic examination. For each patient on whom you perform an exam, you must
prepare the room by ensuring that all x-ray equipment is set and that medical materials
are at hand and in readiness. All positioning items to include proper cassette choice,
immobilization devices, and film identification markers must be ready for use. In
addition to preparing the equipment, you must also think about mentally preparing
yourself and the patient for what is to come. Before each examination, you should think
about how you would feel if you had to hold a position that might be uncomfortable or
painful for an extended period.