If you have ever broken a bone and had an X-ray done, then you have been in contact with a radiologic technician, sometimes called a radiology tech. These individuals are responsible for using machinery that can see breaks or fractures in the body using radiologic imaging.
Learning how to use these machines, read the results and communicate with patients is something that can take years of study and experience, but the best way to get started is with the help of an online degree in radiologic technology.
Discover how this career could be right for you and what steps you will need to complete in order to enjoy job security in this exciting and potentially lucrative position.
Understanding the Role of a Radiologic Technician
To begin on the path toward a career as a radiologic technician, it is vital that you get a complete picture of what this job entails.
The essential work of a radiologic tech is to perform diagnostic imaging examinations for patients.
To this end, some of the daily tasks might include cleaning and troubleshooting the equipment so that it works properly, learning how to prepare patients for X-rays and other diagnostic exams, understanding how to read the results of the examinations and knowing how to relay this information to physicians and to patients as necessary.
The work of a radiologic technician can be demanding, especially in hospitals where there is a steady influx of patients who require X-rays around the clock.
However, the work can also be enjoyable for those who want to work one on one with patients, be a part of the medical industry and know that their job is a direct way to help others.
Necessary Education for a Radiologic Tech Career
In order to work as a radiologic technician, there are a number of key things that you will have to do in order to be hired by a reputable and licensed employer.
Virtually all radiologic technicians need to be certified by the ARRT, or the American Registry of Radiologic Technicians. Getting certified may require a background check within your state of desired employment, but it typically only necessitates education from an accredited school and the passing of an exam in radiologic technology.
The necessary education that it takes to prepare for this exam is a two-year degree program, or an associate degree. Once you meet all of these requirements, you can begin working as a certified radiologic technician in hospitals or private practices.
Prerequisites to Enrollment in an Associate Degree
As mentioned above, earning an associate degree in radiologic technology is one of the integral elements of beginning this career. However, not everyone is eligible to enroll into this college program.
Each college or university has its own set of prerequisites that applicants need to meet in order to be accepted into the program. Typically, colleges require students enrolling in an associate degree program to have graduated from high school, show transcripts to prove that, or be able to submit their general education degree as an alternative.
Beyond that, it can become harder to make the cut depending on the competitiveness and prestige of the college. Some admission staff require things like minimum grade point averages, SAT scores, ACT scores, written admission essays or references from employers if you have been out of high school for more than one year.
What to Expect from Your Degree Program
Once you have applied to an associate degree program, been accepted and formally enrolled, then it is time to get started on the four semesters of work that it takes in order to graduate.
Typically, the bulk of the curriculum will revolve around radiologic technology, but one or two courses may be in more general subjects like business communications or even math, both of which can help you become a more well-rounded student with a variety of skills and talents.
Generally, however, the two years you spend earning your associate degree will include courses with titles like radiographic procedures, patient care techniques, cross-sectional anatomy, medical terminology and radiologic pathology.
Get to Know the Perks of Online Education
Radiologic technicians are always in demand, so associate degrees in this subject are readily available at traditional campuses. Over the past 15 years, however, there has been a marked increase in the number of students who prefer to study online rather than in a traditional classroom.
Along with being much simpler logistically, because everything from exams to lectures can be completed online at the location of your choice, it is also a better option for busy students. If you work full time, have family to care for or simply live a long way from the nearest college campus, you don’t have to worry about the hassles of commuting, public transportation, fuel costs or parking. You can fit your associate degree around the other priorities in your life, giving you a much greater chance of success. Plus, employers are now just as accepting of online degrees as they are of traditional degrees, so the two are relatively equal in value when it comes to future employment.
Finding a Job as a Radiologic Technician
With an associate degree under your belt, it is time to get serious about finding a career as a radiologic technician. First, make sure you have a realistic expectation about salary.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that the average annual pay for this position is an impressive $54,620. Of course, that is the median pay, so new members of the industry may accept slightly lower salaries in their first years on the job. You should also know that some of the top places to find employment as a radiologic technician include general and public hospitals, private practices, outpatient care centers, free clinics and diagnostic treatment offices.
When interviewing or applying for positions at one or more of these locations, be sure to emphasis the key skills needed by radiologic technicians: Organization, interpersonal skills and the ability to multi-task as needed.
If you understand the job of a radiologic technician, understand what it will take to secure employment and feel that you have the natural skills required for the position, then it is time to get on the right track toward your education.
Securing an associate degree in radiologic technology from an accredited online college can be exactly what you need to boost your career and embark on a new, more successful life for yourself. Find out more about this degree and others at Accredited-Online-Colleges.com.