An article in the September/October 2015 issue of CMA Today discussed the benefits of medical assistants getting certified as general x-ray machine operators (GXMOs). Certified medical assistants can enhance their desirability as employees by gaining the skills to operate an x-ray machine.
Radiographers perform the more advanced imaging tests such as those that require fluorography, while GXMOs take basic x-rays. Much of the work of a GXMO involves apprising the patients of what to expect during their procedures and then directing the instrument to the appropriate anatomical area.
While not every state requires a GXMO certification to take x-rays, many states do. For instance, Alabama does not require a license to take x-rays, while California requires a number of specialized certifications.
Demand for GXMO certification is high in some states such as Ohio. GXMOs primarily work in outpatient settings handling the routine, non-urgent x-rays in outpatient clinics and physician offices.
Medical assistants who have the skills and certification to take x-rays ameliorate the need for a physician to hire two people to do these jobs. GXMO training fits in with the current demand for medical assistants who are skilled at multitasking.
This skill is so much in demand that some employers will invest in training their current employees to take basic x-rays. They will also help the GXMOs take the continuing education to maintain their license by either sending the people to classes or bringing someone in to lead a workshop.
With the licensure requirements for GXMOs varying by state, the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) keeps track of them at its website. The requirements for continuing education also vary by state, so it pays to keep a close eye on the regulations of your state.