Radiology Training Programs

One of the most amazing developments in medical technology was the x-ray. Now doctors can actually look inside the human body to diagnose problems without causing injury to the patient. Today, radiology is a profession, and radiology schools train students to work in the field. Radiology colleges offer a degree that will help launch a career in one of the fastest growing areas of health care today. If you enjoy working with people and doctors, becoming a radiological technician is a great option for you! Radiology programs will provide you with the education and tools you need to get started in this fascinating industry.

A Radiologist is physician who uses imaging technologies to diagnose and treat various disorders. Imaging technologies include x-rays, as well as CAT scans and MRIs to gain visual information to help diagnose and treat disease. Radiology is subdivided into many fields in which radiologists may sub-specialize in order to treat particular conditions, parts of the body, or types of patients. Some of the many sub-specialties of radiology include breast imaging, computerized Tomography (CT or CAT scans), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, and radiation oncology.

Radiology careers are typically divided into three main branches of practice. The first branch is general radiography. Most radiologic schools offer programs for general radiography or x-ray technician training. This is the use of x-ray technology to image the body to find things like broken bones, tumors, and diseases. If you want to be able to perform basic x-ray’s, you might want to check out some of the radiology certificate programs and associates degrees that will provide you with the level of education and skill you will need to get certified through The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), licensed with your state radiation safety department, and get a job as an entry level x-ray technician.

If you want to gain the title of Radiologic Technologist, or RT, or Rad Tech, as it is referred to, you will need to get an Associates degree in Radiologic Technology and attend a radiologic school that is accredited through the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JCERT). Then, you can take the ARRT exam, get licensed through the state you live and work in, and become an RT. RT’s generally get higher salaries than general x-ray tech’s and have greater opportunity to learn additional imaging techniques and work your way up the radiology ladder.

Formal training programs in radiography lead to a certificate, an associate degree, or a bachelor’s degree. An associate degree is the most prevalent form of educational attainment among radiologic technologists and technicians. Some may receive a certificate. Certificate programs typically last around 21-24 months.

The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology accredits formal training programs in radiography. The committee accredited 213 programs resulting in a certificate, 397 programs resulting in an associate degree, and 35 resulting in a bachelors degree in 2009. The programs provide both classroom and clinical instruction in anatomy and physiology, patient care procedures, radiation physics, radiation protection, principles of imaging, medical terminology, positioning of patients, medical ethics, radiobiology, and pathology.

Students interested in radiologic technology should take high school courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology.

You can also have any of the radiologist jobs in the field of Nuclear Medicine as well. The jobs here are not as dangerous as people think. The jobs here require the professionals to take a peek into the physiology of the patient or the functions of their cells. They would determine how the cells of the patient would react to a certain drug so that health care specialists can identify the reason for the disease. In nuclear medicine, you can be someone who would interpret the cell’s reaction to the medicines or a highly specialized pharmacist instead. You are required to have a licensed from the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board before you can practice in this division of radiology.

The median annual wage of radiologic technologists was $52,210 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $42,710 and $63,010. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $35,100, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $74,970. Median annual wages in the industries employing the largest numbers of radiologic technologists in 2008 were:

Medical and diagnostic laboratories- $55,210
Federal Executive Branch- 53,650
General medical and surgical hospitals- 52,890
Outpatient care centers- 50,840
Offices of physicians- 48,530