Free Continuing Education For Medical Assistants

Medical Assistants and Their Role in Radiography

Course Overview

Over time, the responsibilities of the medical assistant have and will continue to evolve significantly.  One of the roles that is becoming more valuable is that of the limited x-ray machine operator. Being proficient and competent is vital to protecting the patient and yourself. There is an abundance of different concepts that intertwine to form the profession of radiography, and it should be noted that putting in adequate time and effort coupled with continued education on the subject assists in the aptitude required to serve as a basic machine operator.

Course Accreditation

This course has been granted prior approval by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) for 2 clinical CEUs. Granting approval in no way constitutes endorsement by the AAMA of the course content or the course provider.

Author Information

Medical Program Director
Dr. Brian Dickens is a Nationally Registered Certified Medical Assistant (NRCMA) and subject matter expert in the medical assisting and allied health fields.

Address correspondence to:
Editorial Department
PO Box 5005
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

Disclosure statement: Dr. Brian Dickens reports having no financial or advisory relationship with any corporate, medical, or political organization doing work related to this educational activity or other business activity.

Approval Number:


Intended Audience

This training course is an overview of the functions of a medical assistant in a radiography within a medical facility and is generally taken by employees who have previously completed a clinical role or related schooling. It is developed for clinical supervisors, allied health care employees, and trainees who work within the healthcare environment of radiography.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Explain the different parts and effects of the X-ray machine
  • Describe the various effects of radiation
  • Provide an overview of anatomy and basic skeletons of the human body
  • Provide an overview of how x-ray beams are created
  • Distinguish anatomical directions and body planes
  • Demonstrate basic positioning in x-ray procedures
  • Perform basic math functions for radiography

Course outline

  • 1. Overview
  • 2. The X-ray Operator and Machine
    • SOAP note
    • Preparing the chart for the provider
  • 3. The Effects of Radiation
    • Law of Bergonie and Tirbondeau
    • ALARA
    • Physical protections
  • 4. Creating and Controlling the X-ray and Image
  • 5. Anatomy, Directional Terms, and Positioning
    • Body planes and directional terms
    • Skeletal system and types of fractures
  • 6. Positioning
  • 7. Math Applications in Radiography
  • 8. Image Quality
  • 9. References
  • 10. Test


This is a summary of essential elements of the Medical Assistant role as it pertains to radiography and is not a comprehensive guide to radiography compliance. Regulation by those that perform radiography procedures as a Medical Assistant are obligated to comply with all of its requirements of the agencies and employer and should not refer to this program as a guide of legal information or advice.
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