As a qualified x-ray technician you can expect to work in a hospital, medical clinic, or other medical institution along with a radiologist. Both these positions are important in completing the diagnostic x-rays that are ultimately used by physicians and surgeons to help support patients in the diagnosis of their medical conditions and ultimately to determine the best course of action for their treatments.
In order to become an x-ray technician, there are some planning steps that are required specifically regarding educational requirements. First of all, attending high school and graduating with a diploma is the beginning of this process. Hopefully in school, you had some interest in the sciences and studied chemistry, biology, and algebra which you will definitely need later on in your additional studies and on the job.
From successfully graduating from high school, you will need to enroll in an accredited school that offers an x-ray technician training program. This can occur at a community or vocational college or university. Ensure the school is accredited by the Joint Committee on Education on Radiologic Technology before you even go any further with the application process. Attending a non-accredited school will hinder your future employment opportunities.
Most of the X-ray technician programs include two years of in-class training and there will also be a clinical hands-on component. You will learn all the basics when it comes to human anatomy, operation of the x-ray machines, patient safety and pathology. The x-ray technician training will provide you with all the basic knowledge that an x-ray technician is required to have.
Hands-on clinical training is also very important, so before you can receive you x-ray technician certification, you will have to gain some experience in the field actually working. Becoming an intern is an important step in the process of becoming a certified x-ray technician and allows you to see what it is really like to be on the floor doing the job first hand.
Some of the job requirements of an x-ray technician are to work with the patients to ensure that the x-rays that are needed are preformed properly and without any difficulties. Many patients have a lot of anxiety about these procedures, so ensuring that they are as relaxed as possible will help out a lot and ensure that the x-ray procedure does not have to be redone unnecessarily. And of course, having a good bed side manner is almost as important and knowing all the technical aspects of how to operate the machines.
X-ray technicians are also responsible for transporting the patients, setting up the equipment, making sure the patient is in the exact right position, ensuring the proper precautions are taking to mitigate any risk to the patient, studying the images, and assisting the radiologist in identifying the problems as shown by the x-rays.
So the final step in receiving your x-ray training certification, you will have to write an exam. This exam is conducted by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists and is a pretty standard requirement all across the US. This exam is quite comprehensive and covers all aspects of what you will need to know before you actually start on the job. So it is a good gage on whether or not you have learned all that you need to know and that you will succeed in this exciting and rewarding career.