National Radiologic Technology Week hasn’t always been observed in November. The first National Radiologic Technology Week was celebrated almost 40 years ago from Jul 22-29, 1979. The dates of the observance were later changed to take place during the week of November 8th. This was to commemorate German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen’s discovery of the X-ray on November 8th, 1895.
Röntgen finds the X-ray, imaging is born
Röntgen wasn’t the first to notice X-rays, but he as the first to publish a paper about X-radiation. He referred to this radiation as “X” to signify it was an unknown type of radiation. He used these previously unknown rays and his wife’s hand to create the first X-ray image of a human body. The medical applications for X-ray imaging was immediately apparent. Within weeks of Röntgen’s discovery, people were using X-radiation in clinical settings.
Imaging offers a non-invasive way of viewing the inside of the human body
X-rays are a type of electromagnetic radiation. Different tissues absorb different amounts of radiation, which is what provides the X-ray image. Dense bone tissues absorb the most radiation, and air absorbs the least. This is why bones appear white in an x-ray image, the air-filled lungs appear black, and soft tissues appear in varying shades of gray.
Imaging has advanced significantly since Röntgen took an X-ray image of his wife’s hand. Conventional X-ray imaging, or radiography, is still used today, but radiologic technologists now have many other imaging techniques at their disposal.
Radiologic technologists improve health care
Radiologic technologists, or RTs, perform imaging procedures and administer radiation therapy treatments. They work together with the radiologists who read and interpret medical images. This includes MRI, X-ray imaging, CT scans, mammography, ultrasound, PET, sonography, and fluoroscopy. RTs help diagnose, as well as treat, various diseases and health conditions.
MANA MRI, CT, Ultrasound, Mammography, Breast MRI, and Lung Cancer Screening are all accredited by the American College of Radiology. The ACR Gold seals indicate that patients will receive the highest quality for imaging services.
Thanks to all of the radiologic technologists in Northwest Arkansas who help keep our communities healthy. Celebrate #RadTechWeek and the important work that imaging professionals do!