Are you interested to know about more about the X-ray technician training, education and career? If you are, read on!
A doctor’s diagnosis of injuries and internal problems rely greatly on X-ray results. They need the help of X-ray technicians to be able to get the precise X-ray images that will help them visualize what is going on inside a patient’s body.
X-ray Technician Job Description
It may seem like a simple process, but to be a qualified X-ray technician, you need to be well educated on the use of the medical machinery, the proper imaging methods, and the safety regulations in dealing with radiation exposure. It is vital you go through a comprehensive x-ray technician training that will equip you to do your job satisfactorily.
The X-ray technician gives the patient proper instruction as they go through the procedure. They also keep detailed records of each procedure and take charge of basic maintenance of the X-ray machines.
X-ray technicians are sometimes called generalists who know the basic functions and use of each x-ray machine. Some are called specialists who specialize in a certain type of X-ray like the filmed or digital Mammography, MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging), Fluoroscopy or CT (Computerized axial tomography) Scan.
The median salary of radiology technicians is much higher compared to other health technology occupations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most radiology technicians have an annual salary average of $36,000 up to $76,000. This depends on their location and the number of health care workers available in the area.
There is also a growing demand for X-ray technicians because many health facilities now offer MRI, mammography, CT scans and other imaging services for outpatients. Because of this, employment of technicians is expected to increase by 28% between year 2010 to 2020. It is not surprising that many are encouraged to pursue a career as an X-Ray technician.
Before going through an x-ray technician training, the first step to pursue this career is to finish an Associate’s degree. This is a two-year college degree from a community college, university, career school or any other college. This consists around sixty college credits, which include the subjects needed toward a specific college major.
The Certificate Program
The next step is to get enroll in a certificate program in X-ray technology. This takes only six months of training about the complex interactions of radiation and living tissue. They are also given classroom and practical training in anatomy, biology and physics, phlebotomy and intravenous drug administration.
Within the span of three years after earning an associate degree, candidates should be able to demonstrate proficiency in several clinical procedures to be eligible for certification. This can be done through an on-the-job training or during training under the certificate program.
Licensing and/or Certification
It is required in most states for X-ray technicians to have a license and/or national certification from The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) before they are allowed to work. This is attained by passing the certification exam given to the candidates with complete educational requirements.
Characteristics of an X-ray technician
Aside from the required education and training, there are certain characteristics that an X-ray technician should have. A keen eye for detail and precision in handling a specific X-ray machine is essential in medical imaging. The ability to follow written orders is very important, as well.
A high level of physical fitness and stamina is also needed to do this job because it requires being on your feet for long periods of time. You may also need to lift or assist patients who cannot walk or move by themselves to have their X-rays taken.
Technicians should also be able to work with complex X-ray machines. They should also be able to maintain it and do some troubleshooting when technical problems arise.
These days, technology advances so quickly that technicians need to keep up to date with the new trends in X-ray technology. They have to continuously enhance and upgrade their knowledge to keep up with the advances in technology, especially when it comes to the machines they handle.
Just like any other career, being an X-ray technician needs a solid education, years of hands-on-training, on-the-job experience and of course, the right skills to be able to deliver well in this field.
Before pursuing this career, however, you need to gather all vital information about x-ray technician training and education.