How to Become an X-ray Technician

If you are looking for a health care career which offers a lot of variety and where you will be on the front lines of helping doctors to diagnose injuries and diseases, you may be wondering how to become an x-ray technician. These health care workers often see patients shortly after they have arrived at the hospital as part of a diagnostic workup.

Part of the x-ray technician’s job is to make sure that patients are as relaxed as possible before and during the session when images are being taken. To get the best, and most accurate images, the patient will need to remain still while the pictures are being taken. The x-ray technician will instruct the patient to stay in a certain position while the images are being captured. He or she may need to reposition the patient to capture images from different angles. A certain amount of patience is required to deal with patients who are stressed due to being sick and/or in pain.

Education Required to Become an X-ray Technician

If your goal is to become an x-ray technician, you can start preparing for this career choice by making sure that you take mathematics and science courses in high school. Taking English classes will help to improve your verbal and written communication skills, which are important part of doing this job.

The next step to become an x-ray technician is to complete the program at a community college or trade school. Depending on the school you’re considering, you may need to complete a number of prerequisite courses before you can apply for admission to the x-ray technician program. These prerequisites may be in anatomy, physiology, psychology, sociology, English, or public speaking.

The x-ray technician program usually takes two years to complete. Students enrolled in this program will take courses in:

• Advanced Medical Imaging
• Bone Densitometry
• Introduction to Radiography
• Mammography
• Principles of CT Imaging
• Radiographic Equipment
• Radiographic Pathology & Image Evaluation
• Radiographic Patient Care
• Radiologic Procedures

Programs which include a clinical component allow students to practice what they have learned in class on real patients. Students also learn how to operate the equipment used in hospitals and clinics during this part of the Associate degree program.

X-ray Technician Certification

Graduates of an accredited x-ray technician program will need to provide documentation that they have completed a certain type and number of procedures on patients before they will qualify to write the AART (American Registry of Radiologic Technologists) exam.

The Radiography exam is made up of 220 items (200 of which are scored). Candidates are given a total of four hours to complete the computerized test. Certified x-ray technicians will need to complete continuing education credits to retain their status.

To become an x-ray technician, you will need to complete an Associate degree program at a community college and complete the requirements to write the certification exam for the state where you are planning to work.

With this information about how to become an x-ray technician, you’re well on your way to a satisfying career in this field.

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