Students considering a career in the healthcare field as a radiologic technician will find that the occupation is projected to continue its strong growth and employment prospects are favorable. Educational programs leading to a career as a radiologic technician include certificate programs and associate and bachelor’s degree options. Schools offering this program are accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology and prospective students need to research schools they are considering to ensure they possess this accreditation. Graduation from an accredited program is necessary to be eligible to take a national licensing examination which leads to certification, often required by states for licensure.
Coursework in radiologic technology will discuss anatomy and physiology, radiation physics, medical terminology and pathology. Given the substantial amount of patient contact a technician has they are also trained in areas related to ethics and patient care to make sure they are sensitive to each patient’s unique needs, uphold confidentiality and treat each individual they see with respect and dignity. Academic programs combine academic coursework with clinical field experiences designed to provide the opportunity to practice what they have learned in classes and labs, experience the responsibilities a technician has in physician offices or outpatient care centers and expand their overall knowledge of the field.
Radiologic technicians competently perform diagnostic imaging procedures ordered by a physician such as x-rays, CT scans, MMRIs and mammograms. These examinations provide the physician with critical information regarding a patient’s condition or symptoms and help to diagnose a patient or view their progress. Licensure regulations vary according to the state a technician is employed in and the state board can provide interested individuals with this information. Federal guidelines also govern the safe use of radiation devices by radiologic technicians and patients through the training process. Most employers only consider certified technicians for employment opportunities and prefer those who are adept at a variety of imaging procedures.
Following completion of an accredited radiologic training program graduates are eligible to sit for the national examination offered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technicians. Successful completion of this exam leads to the designation as a certified radiologic technician. Hospitals have traditionally been a major employer of technicians but the increased use and effectiveness of diagnostic imaging has created additional opportunities in outpatient centers and private physician offices. Salaries for radiologic technicians vary depending on years of experience, location of employment and level of specialization. Median salary ranges for technicians are from $48,000 to $55,000 with numerous opportunities for career advancement and mobility.
A radiology technician uses X-ray machines to produce images of patients that can be helpful in diagnosing medical problems. Radiology technicians help prepare a patient before for an X-ray by making sure he understands the procedure and positioning his body to be properly examined. They also keep records and maintain equipment. Radiology technicians are supervised by a doctor who provides clear instructions about the images they need. A person considering this career should be strong and fit because radiology technicians have to stand on their feet for hours at a time and may have to lift certain patients.
Required Education and Training
Depending on the program they choose, radiology technicians may obtain a certificate, associate degree or bachelor’s degree. If they choose a certificate program, they only have to be in school for 21 to 24 months. Once they are done with their program, they must obtain a license before they are allowed to work with patients.
Radiology technicians typically work 40 hours a week, but may be required to work evening and weekend hours. Radiology technicians may sometimes be required to travel to patients’ homes to perform procedures at their bedsides. Since they are exposed to a lot of radiation on the job, they must protect themselves so they do not risk their health. They use lead aprons, gloves and other protective devices. Radiology technicians keep a record of the amount of radiation they receive. Some radiology technicians work for more than one employer so they have to consider travel to and from the two facilities.
Radiology technicians can make a pretty decent salary. The average radiology technician made $52,210 in 2008. A radiology technician can typically make the most amount of money at medical laboratories and the least amount of money at doctors‘ offices.
Radiology technicians may advance in their careers if they receive additional training or education. Some radiology technicians may even be promoted to a chief radiologic technician, supervisor and department director.
Job prospects for radiology technicians remain good. Employment for radiology technicians is expected to grow faster than average. Those who have knowledge of different diagnostic imaging procedures will have the best opportunities. Radiology technicians who are willing to relocate also will have better job prospects.
Most radiology technicians work in hospitals, but some will find jobs at doctors’ offices, diagnostic imaging centers and outpatient care centers.
Looking to change you career or to start one? A job as an Ultrasound Technician might be a great choice for you. As an ultrasound technician you could have greater job stability and a rewarding career with a great salary. The field is growing very fast and you can become an ultrasound technician in a short amount of time.
What is an ultrasound technician?
An ultrasound technician is a person who uses machines to detect sound waves that humans are unable to hear. A technician utilizes an ultrasound machine to show images of the human body. The images help determine internal activity with a patient’s body.
How to become an ultrasound technician
A high school education or a GED (general education diploma) is needed to become an ultrasound technician. Once you have either of those requirements, you can look for training or schools to become an ultrasound technician.
Ultrasound technician training
You can get training to become an ultrasound technician through educational programs or the military. Training can be in as little as two years. Most people go for a two-year associate’s degree. To get your certificate in a year, you would need to already have experience in a health profession. If you want to advance faster or experience higher earnings, a bachelor’s degree is the best choice.
Ultrasound technician schools
Attending an Ultrasound Technician College like Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences in Orlando, FL, Lancaster General College of Nursing and Health Sciences in Lancaster, PA, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles, CA can help you train for the skills you need. You can check online for other accredited colleges and school in your area.
Ultrasound technician courses
The field you decide to study may require you to take some of these courses, Abdominal Ultrasound & Small Parts, Obstetric and Gynecology Ultrasound, Vascular Ultrasound, Sectional Anatomy, Anatomy of the Heart, Physiology of the Heart, Pathophysiology of the Heart and Vascular Ultrasound.
Ultrasound technician classes
Some classes might be needed before you can begin. These include courses such as biology, chemistry, concepts in patient care, medical terminology, physics and instrumentation, ultrasound physics or other classes that may be needed.
Ultrasound technician colleges
The most common ultrasound technician training is an associate’s degree; a bachelor’s degree could give you a little more hands one experience. A one-year certificate program maybe available if you already have health experience. If you are already working at a hospital, ask about training programs for ultrasound technicians or look for programs at your local community colleges, technical vocation schools or universities. After you have finished an ultrasound technician college, you must register with the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) for certification.
There are a lot of opportunities where you can put your skills to use, such as private hospitals, public hospitals, doctor’s offices and other medical environments. You may also inquire about ultrasound technician opportunities with veterinary clinics.
Individuals interested in pursuing a career as an x-ray technician need at least a high school diploma and some college education. The most common degree for an x-ray technician, often known as x-ray techs, is an associate’s degree from a technical school or community college. Once this degree has been achieved, individuals interested in the career can take an examination to officially be licensed to work as an x-ray tech at a clinic, hospital, or school.
The associate’s degree requires that individuals complete a certain number of courses in general educational subjects, science, mathematics, and subjects relating to working as an x-ray tech. Course include such things as radiology terminology, anatomy, physiology, patient positioning, and mammography. These courses can be quite difficult, as they are heavily based on the sciences, but individuals who study a lot during school have a good chance of completing them successfully.
There are also bachelor’s degree programs in radiology at four-year colleges and universities that can lead to positions as an x-ray tech. These programs require more general education classes in areas that include history, the humanities, foreign language, and English. The programs are heavily based on the sciences and student who complete a bachelor’s degree in radiology have a good chance of finding a job in the field. These programs are competitive and require that individuals have a good grade point average (GPA) before they will be admitted into a program.
It is possible for students to complete an associate’s degree before applying to a bachelor’s degree program for radiological sciences. This is a good way for students to determine if this is the right career for them before taking the plunge into further years of study. This can save students time and money if they decide that working as an x-ray tech is not the right career path for them.
There are also hospital-based radiology programs that lead students to become an x-ray tech. These classes include a mixture of coursework and hands-on training, often under the supervision of licensed x-ray techs already working in the field. This is a good way to learn because students have the opportunity to ask questions of the people they are working with. This can also lead to jobs in the future, as the students have the opportunity to network with people in the field. Students wishing to pursue this path should check with hospitals in their area to find out if any programs are offered for x-ray technicians.
A sonogram technician, also referred to as a diagnostic medical sonographer, is an imaging specialist who is trained to operate sophisticated ultrasound equipment to obtain images of the patient’s interior body parts. These images are then interpreted by a trained physician who uses them to make diagnoses and to recommend treatment.
Some sonogram technicians specialize in specific areas of medicine such as obstetrics and gynecology, abdominal, mammography or neurosonography. Specialization typically requires increased levels of experience and training, but may also result in higher wages.
A student can typically complete the training required to become a sonogram technician in two to four years, although some institutions offer a compressed one-year program that leads to a certificate, which may be acceptable to some employers. Most employers require candidates to hold at least an associate degree from an accredited two-year program. Certification is not required by any state, but employers may prefer to work with candidates who hold credentials from an independent, non-governmental organization.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates strong continued demand for sonogram technicians through at least 2018, although availability of new employment opportunities may vary significantly by region. Those who have the ability and willingness to relocate may have a better chance at landing a job in the field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also notes that sonogram technicians who hold credentials in a variety of specialties should have increased employment opportunities and may command higher salaries. Sonogram technicians with additional education may advance into supervisory or managerial roles, which can also result in higher wages.
The median annual income for sonogram technicians across the United States was just over $64,000 as of May 2011, but the top 10 percent earned more than $88,000 per year. More than half of all sonogram technicians worked in general medical hospitals or surgical hospitals, where they earned average wages of approximately $65,000 per year. Those who worked for employment services earned the highest average wages for their employment category at just over $73,000.
Close to 10 percent of the nation’s sonogram technicians worked in the state of California where they earned average annual wages of $77,260, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Only two percent of the nation’s sonogram technicians worked in Massachusetts, but those who worked in the state earned the highest average wages in the country at $80,000 per year.
A sonogram technician, sometimes referred to as a sonographer or an ultrasound tech, is a healthcare professional who conducts a variety of ultrasound examinations. Sonogram technicians employ medical equipment that uses high-frequency sound waves to capture accurate and dynamic images of internal body organs, tissues or blood flow. These images are then used by doctors to diagnose and treat their patients.
While sonography is commonly associated with the use of ultrasound imaging during pregnancy, sonographic technology can also be used to discover, diagnose and monitor a wide range of medical problems, abnormalities and disorders. As an increasing number of patients turn to sonographic procedures for their imaging needs, more and more sonographic technicians opt to specialize in a specific area of sonography. Here are the major areas of specialization available to sonogram technicians.
Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN)
Obstetric and gynecologic sonogram technicians specialize in the imaging of the female reproductive area. These technicians often evaluate a developing fetus by monitoring its growth and health. These technicians also perform non-pregnancy related pelvic sonography to evaluate a female’s cervix, ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes or bladder. These ultrasound images can identify various tumors or cysts in the pelvic region.
Cardiovascular sonogram techs use ultrasound equipment to examine and evaluate the human heart and its chambers, arteries, capillaries, valves and veins. These images help physicians diagnose, treat and monitor various heart and vascular conditions, including heart disease and heart attacks.
Neurosonographers evaluate the nervous system, which includes the spinal cord and the brain. These sonogram technicians specialize in testing and screening for neurological disorders such as brain tumors and strokes. Surgeons also use these technicians to guide the application of anesthetics for procedures conducted near any nerve centers.
Abdominal sonography techs specialize in taking ultrasound images of the tissues and organs in the abdominal cavity, including the kidneys, gall bladder, spleen, bile ducts, pancreas, liver and the male reproductive system. Abdominal sonographers also assist physicians during any biopsy procedures performed in the abdominal area.
Breast sonography has become a very important tool in the fight against breast cancer. Breast sonography is used to evaluate lumps, track and monitor tumors, assist in biopsies of breast tissue and monitor the blood supply conditions. Unlike other types of imaging, breast ultrasound images can help determine if an abnormality is fluid-filled, as in benign cysts, or solid, as in non-cancerous or cancerous tumors.