Although outpatient imaging services or hospital radiology departments provide an important service, health care is still a business, which requires management attention to daily operations, staff supervision and training, and the bottom line. Radiology managers typically have fiscal and supervisory responsibilities, and may also have clinical responsibilities as well. Whether the manager is a clinical or nonclinical person, many of the job duties are similar.
Required Skills and Characteristics
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that medical and health service managers such as radiology managers should have certain skills. One of the most important qualities in a manager is the ability to analyze and solve problems. Managers must be able to communicate with all levels of staff in the organization as well as patients and family members. Interpersonal skills are also important, as is the ability to motivate and lead staff. Detail orientation helps radiology managers focus on daily tasks, coordinate staff scheduling and other activities and identify budgetary or safety problems. Business and financial skills are also vitally important for radiology managers, according to an April 2013 article on the American College of Radiology website.
Daily Operations Come First
The primary responsibility of a radiology manager is to oversee the daily operations of a radiology practice or department. A major part of this function is staff supervision. The radiology manager typically hires and trains staff, conducts performance reviews and may discipline or terminate workers as necessary. Daily operational activities can also include creating work schedules, ordering supplies and ensuring that equipment functions correctly and safely. If the radiology manager is also a radiologic technologist, she may be expected to perform imaging studies as well or to fill in if a staff member is ill.
Other Major Tasks
In addition to daily operations, radiology managers are often responsible for inspection and routine maintenance of equipment. Many radiology managers are also responsible for quality management and radiation safety activities. For example, the radiology manager may be charged with issuing radiation dosimeter badges, ensuring they are worn and periodically checking them for radiation exposure. The manager may adjust patient flow by rearranging patient appointments or adding staff for busy times. Financial management might be a small or large part of a radiology manager’s job, depending on the size of the organization and other responsibilities. The radiology manager may develop budgets, supervise billing activities and make financial reports to physicians or senior management.
Education, Licensing and Certification
Educational preparation for radiology managers may vary according to the organization and the demands of the job. Clinical radiology managers are more likely to be radiologic technologists with an associate's or bachelor’s degree in radiologic technology. The BLS notes radiologic technologists may need to be licensed and/or certified, depending on the state. Some radiology managers, however, are strictly business-oriented and may have a bachelor’s degree in business or finance, or an advanced degree such as an MBA. Either might hold a business-oriented certification such as the certifications in health information management or medical management offered by the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management.
- Hermitage Medical Clinic: Radiography Services Manager
- University of Virginia Health System: Clinical Imaging Supervisor
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Medical and Health Services Managers
- American College of Radiology: Managing Expectations - Radiology Business Managers Help Practices Thrive in a Challenging Business Climate
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Radiologic Technologists
- Photo Credit Chris Warren/iStock/Getty Images
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