X-ray Technician Requirements & Top 4 Radiology Specialties!

If not for the expertise of the X-ray Technicians, the physicians, for the purpose of diagnosing the patient’s bodily health disorder, would still, as a compulsion, be undertaking a number of medical tests or even surgeries and operations, which as you know is quite risky and expensive too. But now, with the advancement in the x-ray technology and other such non-intrusive medical imaging procedures, diagnosis has become a child’s play for the physicians and also a great relief for the patients.

# Be Acquainted With the General Job Profession of an X-ray Tech:–

Just for the sake of explanation, let’s say that you have broken your bone or become victimized by some kind of organic dysfunction. Now, instead of facing the dreaded operation rooms, you would first have to pay a pay a short visit to an x-ray room, where the venerable Radiologic Technologists, rightly dubbed as X-ray Technicians, would take an x-ray (i.e. a photograph, in literal meaning) of your internal anatomy, especially of the infected body region.

Upon the inspection of these very x-rays, the physicians would then be able to easily diagnose the cause of the patient’s ailment, and, thus, be able to prescribe the required medicines or (if need be) even perform a surgery or other such medical procedures.

Hence, in essence, an average x-ray tech would mostly be charged with the job responsibility of generating clear and accurate x-rays of the patient’s internal body parts in such a way that the physicians would be able to thoroughly access and diagnose the physical condition of the patient.

Other than generating reliable x-rays through the x-ray machine, an x-ray technician of greater expertise might also assist the physicians at diagnosis or even be relied to perform radiotherapies for treating certain diseases.

# Versatile Radiology Specialties: Which Career Would You Like To Lead?

You might be surprised to learn that, aside from the x-ray technology, an X-ray technician also has the liberty to specialize in some other radiologic areas like the MRI (i.e. magnetic resonance imaging) and Sonography. And, to be frank, being competent in more than one radiology specialization (like x-ray & MRI technology) would not only help you to increase your employment opportunities but also boost up your income potentiality, thus making it possible for you to lead a prospective radiographer’s life with salary earnings ranging from $58,000 to over $90,000 on a yearly basis.

For your inspection, we have here outlined a short detail of the most popular radiology specialties:–

1. Bone Densitometry Technician:–Job Setting & Career Prospects!

The radiology field of Bone Densitometry, which in simple language is known as Bone Scan, encompasses the use of the x-rays to help measure the density of the patient’s bone.  In other words, the Bone Densitometry technology is generally applied to check the loss of the bonny tissue in the patients suffering from the osteoporosis and other such bone related diseases.

Gaining the credentials of a Bone Densitometry would make you competent at performing the DEXA (i.e. Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) procedure, which is used to estimate the bone mineral density, and thus you would be able to earn a decent salary of around $45,000 p.a.

2. Computed Tomography Technician:–Job Setting & Career Prospects!

Another popular diagnostic medical imaging technology goes with the name of the Computed Tomography or, rather say, the CT Scan. In this non-intrusive imaging procedure, the patient is required to lie within a barrel-shaped machine that would radiate x-rays throughout the body, thus generating highly detailed cross-sectional or 2D images of the human anatomy; with the use of a computer, these 2D images can then be converted into 3D images to gain a complete picture of the human anatomy.

In essence, the CT scans, being able to yield detailed images of the bone and muscles of the human anatomy, are generally recommended for checking the cancer cells or tumors in the patient’s body. As a CT Technician, you would get to enjoy a handsome salary of around $57,000 per year.

3. Diagnostic Medical Sonographer:–Job Setting & Career Prospects!

Owing to its safe and effective medical imaging techniques, the sonography, also referred to as the ultrasound technology, is considered as the better alternative to the x-ray technology and, thus, has been growing in popularity among other radiology technologies.

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              In the ultrasound technology, a transducer is used by the Sonographer (or Ultrasound Technician) to emit high frequency sound waves, which after entering the patient’s body, bounces back, generating sonograms or images of the internal human anatomy.

              As a Sonographer, you would get to earn a handsome salary of around $60,000 to over $75,000, depending upon your chosen specialty area, which once upon a time was restricted to only OB/GYN Sonography but now also open to Breast Sonography, Vascular Sonography, Neuro Sonography, Abdominal Sonography, Musculo-Skeletal Sonography or Cardiac Sonography.

              4. MRI Technician:–Job Setting & Career Prospects!

              While the sonography uses the sound for generating images, the MRI, which stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, exposes the patient to a magnetic field, which when disrupted with the radiofrequency pulses, would help the computer to generate 2D or 3D map/images of bodily tissues. As a MRI technician, you would be able to enjoy average salary earnings of around $50,000 to as much as $70,000 per year.

              # X-ray Technician Education Requirements:–How To Become an X-ray Technician?

              1st Step:–Finish the Pre-requisites of Radiology Programs!

              Only those candidates who are equipped with the high-school diploma or a GED certificate would be granted the eligibility to enroll at an x-ray technician or other such radiology technician programs. And, since the profession of an x-ray technician is of technical nature, it is highly recommended for the interested students to be good at mathematics, science and computer.

              As additional x-ray technician requirements, the radiology programs also demand the candidates to possess a clean background, with no convictions or felonies and no drug abuse. And, of course, you are also expected to be in good physical condition, since your line of work would involve carrying, lifting and positioning the patients.

              2nd Step:–Join ARRT-approved Radiology School & Complete X-ray Technician Education!

              Now that you have accomplished all the pre-requisites, then, like your predecessors, you should also be enrolling yourself at a radiology school, graced with accreditation from ARRT i.e. American Registry of Radiologic Technologist.

              As a side note, let me enlighten you with the fact that one can become an X-ray technician either through the 2 years long associate’s degree or through the 4 years long bachelor’s degree radiology program.

              While the associate’s degree used to be the popular alternative for becoming an X-ray Technician, there’s a rumor that the healthcare industries will be demanding the candidates to acquire the bachelor’s degree from the year 2015; at present, the associate’s degree is good enough.

              3rd Step:–Get Licensed as an X-ray Technician or Radiology Technologist!

              Once you complete your radiology program, you would then be able to challenge your state’s specific licensing exam. Now, you may argue that most states of the US do not require their X-ray technicians to be licensed. So, in this case, would one be able to get a job right after their graduation?

              Well, there used to be a time when the x-ray techs could indeed get a job after their graduation, but now, times have changed, meaning that the healthcare industries of these days rarely give employment to a newly graduated x-ray tech but rather demand them to first become certified from the venerable American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.

              As a tradition, the ARRT has been administering a certification exam, designed to evaluate the competencies of the newbies entering the radiology field and thus determine whether they are qualified enough to uphold the job profession of an X-ray tech or not. Upon passing this ARRT certification exam, the candidates can upgrade their title from a Radiologic Technologist to a Registered Radiologic Technologist and, hence, would be wholeheartedly welcomed to work in any hospitals or radiology centers.

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