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Diagnostic Imaging: Why This Is a Great Career Choice Right Now

There’s more to healthcare staff than just nurses and doctors. Within your hospital’s walls, there are a wide range of roles that make it run successfully. One of those departments is diagnostic imaging. Diagnostic imaging plays a crucial role in the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. With lots of job variety, flexible schedules, good pay, and huge incentives for students right now, diagnostic imaging is the perfect career path for anyone passionate about helping people. 

Diagnostic Imaging Careers

In the field of diagnostic imaging, there are a variety of job types and opportunities to grow. 

“It’s a fascinating field,” states Jessica Valento, Director of Diagnostic Imaging, Health Information, and Information Technology at Fairview Range. “You can start out as a general X-ray Technician and learn a new modality, such as CT or mammography.” 


These physicians specialize in interpreting diagnostic images and providing diagnoses. Beyond images, they may also perform image guided procedures, such as biopsies.  They work closely with the various Technologists within Diagnostic Imaging. 

Radiologic Technologist

Rad Techs perform imaging exams, such as X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans. They work under the supervision of a Radiologist, and are responsible for positioning patients, operating imaging equipment, and ensuring that the images produced are of high quality.

Medical Imaging Assistant 

A Medical Imaging Assistant provides diagnostic imaging support for patients with the knowledge and ability to collect information, assess, and intervene as appropriate in the care of patients. This position does not require a degree and is a great stepping stone to learning about diagnostic imaging and which position is the right fit.

Ultrasound Technician 

Using ultrasound technology, special cameras, and computer programming, ultrasound technicians make images of internal organs, blood vessels, and other parts of the body. These are then examined to diagnose and treat illnesses.

Nuclear Medicine Technologists 

In this role, nuclear medicine technologists use small amounts of radioactive materials to produce images of various parts of the body. 

CT Scan Technologist 

Using computerized tomography (CT) scanners, CT technologists create pictures depicting a cross section of inside the body that are used to administer medical diagnoses and advice. 

“I’m studying general x-ray right now and then plan to specialize,” states Delaney Nelson, a Radiology Tech student at Lake Superior College. “I’m currently doing clinicals at Grand Itasca and they’ve been so amazing. Everyone is so excited for me to learn and grow and do well. I feel so supported.” 

Flexible Schedules 

The newest generation of graduates desire jobs that provide a great work life balance. At smaller hospitals like Fairview Range and Grand Itasca, diagnostic imaging employees have access to flexible schedules that work for them. 

“We work with people on identifying schedules that work best for them while fitting our needs,” explains Valento. “Some people only work afternoon shifts or come in for six days and are off for eight.”

$25,000 in Incentives 

With the rise in baby boomers retiring and not enough people to fill their roles, healthcare systems are thinking long term when it comes to recruiting future hires. At Fairview Range, we now have the Student to Employment incentive program. At Grand Itasca, they have a very similar program called Education to Employment. How do they work? If you’re a diagnostic imaging student and sign on to work at either hospital for two years after graduation, you will receive up to $25,000 to cover school supplies, tuition, and daily living expenses. 

“I think the Education to Employment program is amazing,” explains Delaney Nelson. “It can be really financially difficult balancing school and a full-time job. The money takes a lot of the financial burden off your plate.”

A Great Career Choice 

If you or someone you know is trying to figure out their career path, consider diagnostic imaging. With lots of job choices, flexible schedules, and great incentives for students, it’s a smart career move. 

“I was considering becoming a nurse because of my passion for anatomy but discovered that radiology tech was a better fit for me and pursuing that passion,” says Nelson. 

To learn more about this career path and the opportunities, reach out to Jessica Valento at Fairview Range at [email protected] or Caitlin Erickson at Grand Itasca at [email protected].


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