X-ray tech courses range from the details of how an x-ray machine takes pictures to how to talk to a patient who is in pain or afraid. The work of an x-ray technician can be simple and relaxed, or it can be stressful, intense, and challenging. In any accredited training program, you will have the option to take a lot of helpful classes, and the required courses will be specific to the needs of the job as well as to the passage of the necessary exams.
Before you become an x-ray tech, you must successfully pass the national certification exam and any state licensing exam for the state you want to work in. X-ray tech courses prepare you for the exams and the job. Of course, the exams are meant to test the information that you will eventually need to be a successful technician, so the training should go hand in hand with your exam studies.
Then there is the people side of things. If you eventually work for a specialist, such as a foot and ankle doctor, you may rarely be under pressure to take an image while a patient is in severe pain or in shock. Most of the images the doctor will need will have to do with broken bones that are healing. However, if you work in a hospital emergency ward, you will be taking images of the inside of people’s bodies when they are still in shock and sometimes a lot of pain. People are often afraid, because your image will be the first information that they get about how bad things are, what is broken or injured, and what it will take to get them feeling good again.
X-ray tech courses can help you to learn how to deal with those situations, but hands on experience will be the best teacher. Most training programs include necessary clinic hours in their curriculum, so that you start to get a feel for working with patients, nurses, and doctors in real-life situations. It is unlikely that you will intern in an emergency room. There is enough to worry about when you are starting out, even in low pressure situations.
Most x-ray tech courses are designed to educate you about the human body, what x-ray images will show, and how to take images safely. All x-ray technicians must know how to protect themselves, their patients, and their co-workers from unnecessary exposure.