Anyone interested in becoming an X-ray technician can choose among a range of educational opportunities. A diploma program is the absolute minimum but it provides only a few employment options. If you want to seriously pursue a career in the field, you may consider dedicating a bit more time and effort to obtaining the right education.
Potential X-ray technicians can choose among three common possibilities and here’s an overview of each one.
An X-Ray Technician Diploma
Keep in mind that if you haven’t completed at least an associate’s degree, you’ll find it particularly difficult to access a big number of quality employment options. Still, obtaining an X-ray technician diploma may be a good first step, giving you an idea about what a job in the field entails.
The program can be completed in anywhere between one and two years. Many accredited academic institutions and medical facilities have such programs for the individuals interested in pursuing a career in the field.
Some of the skills that the students will learn include X-ray techniques, positioning of X-ray equipment, radiation protection, radiographic procedures, anatomy, physiology and biology. Classroom lectures, lab exercises and clinical experience will all be needed for the successful completion of the program.
The second educational option involves acquiring an associate’s degree and this possibility is the most common one among the individuals interested in becoming X-ray technicians.
An associate’s degree in radiological technology can be obtained in approximately two years. During the first year, the students will focus on biology, chemistry and physics. The second year will be the one that ill put emphasis on more specialised skills.
Once again, the program will consist of classroom activities, labwork and clinical experience in actual hospital settings. In addition, many programs will include preparation for the licensing exams that X-ray technicians have to pass. The license is a mandatory requirement for working in several of the states.
Some of the courses that the associate’s degree programs consist of include patient care procedures, physiology and anatomy, pathology, common medical terminology, radiation protection, radiation physics and the basics covered in an X-ray technician diploma program.
Bachelor’s Degree in Radiological Technology
A bachelor of science degree in radiological technology is the ultimate educational option and the one that will open the biggest number of doors when it comes to accessing a nice employment option.
The prerequisites for enrolment include a high school diploma or GED. Alternatively, you may enrol in a BS program after you’ve acquired your associate’s degree in radiological science.
The bachelor’s program is a standard one and it can be completed in a period of four years. The credit requirements will vary from 120 to 140, depending on the university that’s providing the educational opportunity. Very often, some of the credits can be completed by going to a radiological center where the students do practical work and acquire essential skills that exceed the classroom training.
A program in radiological technology can include a vast range of required courses and electives. Some of the common requirements for the students include radiographic techniques, anatomy and radiation biology, radiation protection, imaging procedures, patient care and clinical training.
Is it Possible to Complete the Training Online?
If you’re already employed or you live in a part of the country that doesn’t have particularly reputable academic institutions, you may be wondering whether it’s possible to complete the radiological training online.
The good news is that various institutions have developed distance learning opportunities for students like you.
A number of quite reputable universities have their BS in radiological technology programs. Some of the opportunities worth exploring include the online courses at Oregon Institute of Technology, Weber State University, University of Louisiana,
Some universities also have online associate’s programs for the individuals that they want to make their first steps in the field of radiological technology education. Doing a simple online search will reveal the big number of options available.
Keep in mind that after completing the program of your preference, you should consider acquiring an American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certificate. This certificate is an employment requirement in numerous states. In addition, many hospitals will prioritise the job applications of X-ray technicians that have an ARRT certificate over the ones of those that don’t.