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Radiology Tech Education

One must receive formal training in order to become a radiology technician. One can attend a community or junior college or a four-year college and receive an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, with the associate’s degree being more popular or attend an institution which grants certificates in the profession. The certificate programs typically take between 21 and 24 months.

Students who are interested in becoming radiology technicians should take courses in mathematics, physics, biology and chemistry in high school. These courses will prepare them for the more advanced courses offered in radiology technician programs that include physiology and anatomy, radiation physics, patient care procedures, medical terminology, principles of imaging, medical ethics, positioning of patients, pathology and radiobiology. The programs typically include both classroom and clinical instruction.

In addition to proper training in the handling of medical radiation, many states require licensure as a radiology technician and one should check with the state’s health board to determine if licensing is required. Voluntary certification is offered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (AART) and many states use that organization’s exams for their licensing purposes. In order to take the exam, one has to have taken an AART approved accredited program and needs to take an additional 24 hours of continuing education every two years in order to maintain one’s certification.

Students who want to become radiology technicians need to have certain traits. They should be sensitive to the physical and psychological needs of patients, be able to pay attention to detail, follow instructions and be able to work in a team environment. Because they are handling complicated medical equipment, they require manual dexterity and mechanical ability.

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