X-Ray Technician

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X-ray technician training will include a basic background in how to do X-rays, and other technologies that let a physician see what is going on inside our bodies, are an important aid to medical diagnosis.

As a radiographer or an x-ray technician you would prepare a patient for x-ray, ensuring that they were correctly placed so that the appropriate area would be photographed, and set the controls of the x-ray machine.

You would then take and develop the x-ray picture. You might also work in more specialized fields, employing CT (computerized tomography) or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to produce diagnostic scans.

Training and Qualifications

The usual route to training as a radiographer or x-ray technician is to earn an associate degree, although it is also possible to study for a certificate (if you already possess a healthcare qualification) or a bachelor’s degree (if you aspire to an administrative or supervisory position).

A voluntary licensing scheme is in operation, and you should check what is expected by way of post-graduate qualifications in the state where you expect to work.

Your program will include courses on general medical topics such as anatomy, physiology, pathology, and terminology. You will then study more specialized subjects such as radiobiology and radio physics, together with the techniques of obtaining images in a safe and accurate way. You will divide your time between classroom education and clinical work with patients.

Job Outlook

Hospitals are, and should remain, the main employers of radiographers and x-ray technicians. Employment prospects should be good. If you have completed a program that includes x-ray technician training in CT and MRI technology then you will be even more employable. There should also be an increasing number of x-ray technician jobs offered in the offices of physicians and outpatient treatment facilities.