How to Become a Radiology Technician

A career as a Radiology Technician gives one unique opportunities in the healthcare field. This high-paying job not only enables you to use today’s technology to help provide accurate diagnoses to patients in need, but also can lead to further opportunities in specializations in radiology. This field is growing with rapidity and now is the time to begin your career as a Radiology Technician.

Radiology and a Radiology Technician

Radiology is the medical field which uses the technology of imaging. Images produced by X-rays, ultrasound, magnetic resonance and computed tomography all come under the heading of radiology. Most of the imaging techniques used are minimally invasive, and this helps to improve health outcomes and reduces risks. Doctors need images produced of different parts of the inside of the body in order to diagnose and treat diseases or structural problems. This is where the Radiology Technician comes in.

The Radiology Tech operates the various types of imaging equipment. This is more complicated than it sounds. There are a number of procedures involved in taking excellent images, and the technician must be skilled in all of them. They must be organized, good with people, physically coordinated and able to understand information and communicate well. They need to be strong enough to turn or lift disabled patients.

Some of their duties include:

  • Taking patient history
  • Adjusting imaging equipment
  • Safety measures for patients
  • Processing film
  • Positioning patient and equipment
  • Answering questions

Schooling for a Radiology Technician

When pursuing a career as a Radiology Technician, you will need to plan ahead as much as possible for obtaining a background in the medical field. If you can start the plan in high school, you should add courses in anatomy, chemistry, biology and mathematics to your curriculum.

Naturally, college courses will be taken, and you will minimally need a high school diploma to enroll. The two to four-year courses in college will include courses in physics, biology and anatomy. Going for an Associate’s degree is the general path most students follow. You will find accredited programs being run in schools all over the United States, as well as some online studies you can do right at home at your computer.

Whatever course of study you pursue, ensure the program is accredited. Without accreditation by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT), you may not qualify for certification.

Certification as a Radiology Technician

The NNCC (Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission) administers exams for certification and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) does the certification. Requirements vary by individual state as far as licensing goes, so you should research your own state’s Health Board for your state’s requirements. Once certified, you will have two years after which you’ll need to engage in a certain number of hours of continuing education.

Specializations in Radiology

When expanding on your education in the radiology area, you can increase income earnings and increase the amount of help you can provide to patients. Some of the areas of specialization are:

  • MRI Technician

This technician uses special magnetic resonance imaging to create images of structures inside the body. The MRI Technician will be required to take additional courses above and beyond what is required by a Radiology Tech. The average salary for this technician is higher than that of a Radiology Technician.

  • Nuclear Medicine Technician

A person who wishes to become a Nuclear Medicine Technician must graduate from an accredited nuclear medicine technology educational program to become certified by the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board (NMTCB). Salary for this technician is much higher than either the Radiology Technician or the MRI Tech.

  • Radiologist Assistant

This type of radiologist must complete additional training and there are specific certification requirements. Radiology Assistants work under Radiologists after obtaining a degree in a university.

  • Radiologist (M.D.)

The Radiologist M.D. is a physician who has obtained a full medical degree. They have studied specific courses to get a high level of knowledge regarding medical imaging and how to use this technology to diagnose diseases, etc.

Based on all these opportunities to further your knowledge in the field of radiology, you can see that beginning your career as a Radiology Technician gives you the start you need to secure your future in the health field. Even if you don’t specialize, you will still have a rewarding and fulfilling job in providing a needed service to those ill or injured.

Getting an education as a Radiology Technician just requires a person be determined, find the right school and start! You can be successful and happy with this marvelous healthcare career.


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