Radiologic technologists specialize in performing and recording diagnostic imaging examinations, such as X-Rays, on patients. They work in hospital or clinical settings, in close collaboration with physicians and nurses. Radiologic technologists are also known as X-Ray technicians, medical radiation technologists, or radiographers.
There are various levels of training required to perform the different radiologic technologies. However, overall their core tasks are to explain X-Ray diagnostic imaging procedures to patients and perform them; to adhere to regulations to protect themselves and others from harmful exposure to X-rays; to assure appropriate maintenance and functioning of diagnostic machinery; and liaise with physicians and other healthcare professionals to keep appropriate patient records. Some highly trained radiologic technologists also work to develop optimal radiological diagnostic techniques, and assist physicians in evaluating results of imaging examinations.
Various Training Programs Available to Prepare Radiologic Technologists
Educational requirements can vary by state. Training programs grant several types of educational recognition, which include certificate courses, associate’s degree programs, and bachelor’s degree programs. X-Ray technician educational programs typically cover a range of subjects including anatomy and physiology; medical terminology and imaging; and patient care and ethics.
Students studying to become X-Ray technicians also learn how to protect themselves and their patients from harmful radiation, which is an important component of their job. X-Ray technician programs generally take place in both classrooms and in clinical settings. Students who have a background of high school courses in science, math, biology and chemistry courses will have a leg up if they decide to pursue training as an X-Ray technician.
Certification, Registration and Licensure
The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) is a credentialing organization that certifies and registers X-Ray technicians through examination and continuing education requirements, as well as ethics requirements (www.arrt.org), thereby ensuring high-quality patient care in medical imaging, interventional procedures, and radiation therapy. Radiology programs graduates are examined by ARRT to become certified radiologic technologists. Being certified by the ARRT signifies that an X-ray technician meets specific educational and ethical standards.
Registered radiologic technologists are required to complete continuing education requirements and renew their registrations annually. This ongoing annual registration with the ARRT signifies continued compliance with standards and ethics set down by the professional organization. Only X-Ray technicians who renew their registrations annually may use the ‘R.T.’ professional designation after their names to indicate their qualifications. Some states require X-Ray technicians to be licensed to practice within the field, and most states defer to ARRT’s credentialing as the basis for licensure.
The Bureau of Radiation Control of the Florida Department of Health oversees certification for X-Ray Technicians in the State of Florida. To become certified, each applicant must pass a test typically covering radiation protection, equipment operation and maintenance, image production and evaluation, procedures, and patient care (“Radiologic Technology”).
Each certificate is valid for 2 years, during which the certificate holder must obtain 12 hours of continuing education; the department evaluates each continuing education course and furnishes a list of approved course providers to each technologist (“Radiologic Technology”).
Great Pay, Great Career Prospects
According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010 median pay for X-Ray Technicians/Radiologic Technologist was $54,340 annually or $26.13 per hour (“Radiologic Technologists”). Moreover, the future prospects for this line of work are exceedingly bright: employment of radiologic technologists is expected to grow by 28 percent from 2010 to 2020 – for an additional 61,000 jobs nationally – faster than the average for all occupations (“Radiologic Technologists”).
Studying Radiologic Technology at Florida National University
If you live in Florida and are interested in joining a growing field within the healthcare industry that is growing in demand, radiologic technology could be for you. Florida National University (FNU) offers two different programs that will enable you, upon completion of the course of study, to become licensed and find a rewarding job as quickly as possible.
Associate of Science Degree Program in Radiologic Technology
FNU offers an Associate’s of Science degree program in Radiologic Technology (RT). The program, which requires a minimum of 86 credits, prepares the student, upon successful completion of the Certifying Examination, for a position as a member of a health care team in a hospital, clinic or of medical equipment or management. This program is designed to prepare the student for the NationalCertifying Examination by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), as well as for the State of Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Service General License Examination. FNU awards an Associate of Science Degree upon graduation.
Career Education Diploma
FNU also offers a Career Education Diploma as an X-Ray Technician. The purpose of the Basic X-Ray Technician program, which requires a minimum of 45 credits, is to prepare the student for the position of basic X-Ray machine operator. The program offers the knowledge and skills necessary for doing radiologic work on the extremities and chest. This course of study trains students to perform their duties with a high level of professionalism in both in terms of communicating, caring, and protecting the patient during the taking of X-rays, as well as in sufficient knowledge of medical terms necessary to competently carry out the technician’s duties. The program prepares the student for the Basic X-Ray State of Florida Licensure Examination, and includes all the required courses for the first year toward the Radiologic Technology A.S. program. FNU awards a diploma upon completion of the program.
A Prosperous Future in a Growing Profession – Get Started at FNU
Start your exciting and lucrative career as an X-Ray Technician today at Florida National University. We offer real-world, hands-on training and small class sizes, with personal attention from and access to professors. Our flexible class and unique term schedules help you accommodate your busy lifestyle and extracurricular commitments. In addition, we help you get started in the job market – FNU offers lifetime job placement services for graduates so you are not alone in your job search. Contact us today to find out more about training as an X-Ray Technician!