In the future, experts say there will be an increased demand for qualified radiology technicians. The growing field of radiology provides employees with financial security, a flexible and positive work environment, and a rewarding career path. If a potential student can communicate well with patients, pays attention to details, learns techniques quickly, and is highly ethical, then this career may be a perfect path. If anyone is interested in a radiology technology career, then there are many schools that can provide him or her with the foundation needed to become successful.
Most people who are interested in a radiology tech career usually begin by finding a comprehensive program. The first step should be to find a reputable school that can prepare a student properly. Many students choose to enroll in a two-year program at a local junior college or a technical school. In most cases, the student will gain an associate degree (AA) or in rare cases a certificate. Other students enroll in a four-year college to gain a bachelor’s degree. This educational choice will give the student more options within the career path. There are also a number of quality two year or four year online degree programs that provide a student with the foundation needed. Finally, there are some hospitals that provide two-year hands on programs. With this particular program, the student will normally have to work for the hospital for a set period of time after completing the program.
Within each radiology tech program, there is a variety of coursework that all students must pass. The coursework will most likely depend on the school that the student attends. Normally, a student would need prior experience in the medical field, so that he or she understands certain terminology before entering the program. Within the program, the student takes a number of courses in subjects such as math, foundations in radiology, biology, chemistry, anatomy, and basic physics. The student may also have to take courses in hospital and patient safety. If a student chooses to obtain a four-year degree, then the coursework is more extensive, focusing more on pathology, radiobiology and other types of sciences.
Within radiologic technology, many students may be required to choose a particular specialty. There are a variety of different specialties that a potential student can choose. For example, a student may want to become a radiographer, which means the student must train in the use of particular x-ray items. These experts have the ability to produce images of specific parts of the body, such as organs and bones. Those interested in magnetic resonance use radio-frequency movement and magnets to illustrate images of the human body. Some students specialize in nuclear medicine and learn how to use state-of-the-art cameras to create images of organs in the body. Sonography students specialize in using sound waves to create images of internal structures for the purpose of diagnosis. Finally, those who specialize in radiation, learn how to detect and treat diseases in the human body.
After a student finishes the coursework, then he or she will begin training. Some schools will require basic training to occur while simultaneously taking coursework; however, most schools will require that the bulk of the hands-on training occur after he or she passes the classes. The training usually allows the student to learn under a well-qualified teacher. This teacher will show the student certain techniques and procedures. If the student decides to specialize in a particular program, then he or she will require additional training. Through a career, the radiologist will also have to take a number of continuing education courses. These courses will depend on the specialty and the employer.
After the training and coursework, the radiology tech will have to take a standardized test to show that he or she has mastered the necessary information to become radiologic technologist. Most hospitals and clinics require their employees to past the test administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. After passing the test, the individual will become a certified radiologist and will expect their salary to be around $55,200 a year depending on experience and specialty.