The vast majority of individuals interested in becoming X-ray technicians pursue an associate’s degree in radiologic technology. A number of individuals also choose to continue their studies until they acquire a bachelor’s degree.
Regardless of the educational program chosen, everyone that would like to become an X-ray technician will need to acquire various theoretical and practical skills. These are essential to ensure the accuracy of the radiographic images and to decrease the radiation exposure that both technician and patient are exposed to.
X-Ray Technician Education: An Overview
As already mentioned, most individuals that would like to work as X-ray technicians will opt for an associate’s degree in radiologic technology. This, however, is one of the three educational options available.
The absolute minimum requirement is a diploma in X-ray technology. Such a program can be completed in a period ranging between one and two years. A number of accredited universities and entities providing online learning opportunities have such programs available.
Some may consider continuing their education. A bachelor of science degree in radiologic technology is available. In addition, the individuals that decide to continue their education may pursue specialisation in another field. Mammography, CT scanning and MRI are all popular specialisation opportunities.
Courses Required for Becoming an X-Ray Technician
The courses required to become an X-ray technician, regardless of the educational degree pursued, focus on physiology, using the technology, patient interactions and safety. Here are some of the essentials that are incorporated in just about every radiologic technology program.
Certain standards have been introduced in the field in order to increase the safety of the technician. Learning about these standards and procedures is one of the first prerequisites for practicing the profession without exposing oneself to unnecessary risk. In this course, students will learn how radiation is produced, how it affects tissues and how radiation exposure is measured.
This course is an introduction to the world of X-ray technicians. It acquaints the students with all of the essentials of working with patients and making sure that the correct image has been captured. Students will learn about how the patient’s body has to be positioned, how the X-ray equipment needs to be placed, factors that will affect the quality of the image and how to make adjustments.
Human Anatomy and Physiology
Human anatomy and physiology is another introductory course that all professionals working with patients will have to go through. The course acquaints students with the most important systems and organs in the human body. The appearance of each organ will be examined and students will also learn what its exact location is.
A deeper look into the equipment will be the key to using it properly. Radiographic technology is a course that introduces the students to the tools and the equipment that they’re going to be using on a daily basis as X-ray technicians. Depending on the university and the depth of the curriculum, students may also learn about image development, radiation production and how each piece of equipment should be handled for maximum safety.
Specialised Pathology for Radiographers
X-ray technicians need to have at least a basic idea about the most common diseases and the manner in which these affect tissues in the human body. During the course, students will also learn how radiographic images can be used to identify these pathological processes. Depending on a medical condition, an X-ray technician may be required to come up with an alternative radiographic imaging routine. The course will cover these specific cases, as well.
Theoretical courses give students a lot of valuable information but nothing compares to the actual clinical experience. Regardless of the program and the university chosen, a clinical experience course will have to be completed. During this course, students will examine the work of certified X-ray technicians and they’ll also practice under strict supervision. The class will also teach students the essentials of interacting with patients.
Depending on the specialisation and the degree chosen, there could be variations in the program and the courses. Thus, it’s very important to examine the curriculum before enrolling. Make sure that the syllabus features courses that will provide basic knowledge, as well as specialised practical skills. Reputable universities will always make sure that their students are fully-prepared to launch their professional journey successfully.