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Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN/LPN) license

Licensed Vocational Nurse vs Radiology Technician

Licensed Vocational Nurse vs Radiology Technician

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Key Points:

  • Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) provide basic nursing care; Radiology Technicians operate medical imaging equipment like X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs.
  • LVNs typically earn less than Radiology Technicians.
  • Both fields are expected to have steady job growth.
  • LVNs require a one-year certificate or diploma program, while Radiology Technicians need a two-year associate's degree, with both programs offering in-person and online options.
  • LVN training is generally less expensive and shorter than Radiology Technician training.

When it comes to choosing a career in healthcare, there are many options to consider. Two popular choices are becoming a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) or a Radiology Technician. Both of these professions offer rewarding opportunities to work directly with patients and make a difference in their lives. However, there are some key differences between the two that prospective students should be aware of. In this blog post, we will explore the roles and responsibilities of a Licensed Vocational Nurse and a Radiology Technician, as well as the education and training required for each profession. We will also discuss the career outlook and salary potential for both careers. By the end of this post, you should have a better understanding of which path may be the right fit for you.

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What is a Licensed Vocational Nurse and Radiology Technician?

  • Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN): A Licensed Vocational Nurse, also known as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in some states, is a healthcare professional who provides basic nursing care under the supervision of registered nurses or physicians. They work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics, and are responsible for tasks like taking vital signs, administering medications, and providing patient care.
  • Radiology Technician: A Radiology Technician, also known as a Radiologic Technologist, is a healthcare professional who operates imaging equipment, such as x-ray machines, CT scanners, and MRI machines, to produce diagnostic images of the body. They work closely with radiologists and other healthcare professionals to ensure accurate and high-quality images are obtained. Radiology Technicians can specialize in specific areas, such as mammography or cardiovascular imaging.

Difference between a Licensed Vocational Nurse and Radiology Technician

  • Scope of Practice: While both LVNs and Radiology Technicians work in healthcare, their roles and responsibilities differ. LVNs primarily focus on providing direct patient care, such as administering medications, dressing wounds, and monitoring patient conditions. Radiology Technicians, on the other hand, focus on operating imaging equipment and obtaining diagnostic images of patients.
  • Supervision: LVNs work under the supervision of registered nurses or physicians, while Radiology Technicians often work independently under the guidance of radiologists. This means that LVNs have more direct interaction and collaboration with other healthcare professionals, while Radiology Technicians have more autonomy in their work.
  • Patient Interaction: LVNs typically have more direct patient interaction, as they are responsible for providing hands-on care and support to patients. Radiology Technicians may have limited interaction with patients, as their primary focus is on obtaining diagnostic images. However, they still play a vital role in ensuring patient comfort and safety during imaging procedures.
  • Specialization: While LVNs can work in various healthcare settings, they generally do not specialize in specific areas. Radiology Technicians, on the other hand, can choose to specialize in areas such as MRI, mammography, or cardiovascular imaging. This allows them to develop expertise in a specific area of diagnostic imaging.

Licensed Vocational Nurse vs Radiology Technician: Job Description

  • Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN): The job of an LVN involves providing direct patient care under the supervision of registered nurses or physicians. They typically perform tasks such as taking vital signs, administering medications, dressing wounds, and assisting with activities of daily living. LVNs also document patient information, communicate with other healthcare professionals, and provide emotional support to patients and their families.
  • Radiology Technician: The job of a Radiology Technician involves operating imaging equipment to obtain diagnostic images of patients. They work closely with radiologists and other healthcare professionals to ensure accurate and high-quality images are obtained. Radiology Technicians may also assist with patient positioning, preparation, and providing radiation protection during imaging procedures. They are responsible for maintaining and troubleshooting imaging equipment and ensuring patient comfort and safety during procedures.

Licensed Vocational Nurse vs Radiology Technician: Education and Training

  • Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN): To become an LVN, individuals must complete a state-approved practical nursing program, which typically takes about one year to complete. These programs are offered by vocational schools, community colleges, and some hospitals. After completing the program, graduates must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) to become licensed. Some states may have additional requirements or exams for licensure.
  • Radiology Technician: To become a Radiology Technician, individuals must complete an accredited radiologic technology program, which typically takes about two years to complete. These programs are offered by community colleges, universities, and hospitals. After completing the program, graduates must pass the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam to become certified. Some states may also require additional licensure or certification.

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Licensed Vocational Nurse vs Radiology Technician: Career Outlook and Salary

  • Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN): According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) is projected to grow 9 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual wage for LPNs was $48,820 in May 2020, with the highest 10 percent earning more than $64,600.
  • Radiology Technician: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of Radiologic Technologists is projected to grow 7 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual wage for Radiologic Technologists was $63,710 in May 2020, with the highest 10 percent earning more than $93,440.

Final Thoughts

Both becoming a Licensed Vocational Nurse and a Radiology Technician offer rewarding career opportunities in the healthcare field. The choice between the two ultimately depends on individual preferences, interests, and career goals. If you enjoy direct patient care and want to work closely with other healthcare professionals, a career as an LVN may be the right fit for you. If you have an interest in diagnostic imaging and prefer a more technical role, becoming a Radiology Technician may be a better choice. Ultimately, both professions play a crucial role in providing quality healthcare to patients and making a positive impact in their lives.

Ensuring accessibility for individuals seeking growth, Dreambound strategically places its educational programs in various locations. Delve into a more comprehensive understanding of the exciting opportunities within these two vocations by visiting:

Stephanie Dayak
Written by
Stephanie Dayak

Stephanie Dayak is the go-to person for everything related to automation and integrations at Dreambound. As a Certified Tax Technician turned tech whiz, her sharp eye for detail and passion for efficiency become evident in every project she undertakes. When not solving tech puzzles, she's out exploring the local food scene, cozying up with her dogs, or plugged into a thought-provoking podcast. She's an ardent believer in mixing fun with functionality!

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