Medical Assistant: X-Ray Technician Associate's Degree
Would you like to work in medical imaging? Do you find identifying bone breaks, bone fractures and other internal maladies interesting? If so, you may want to enroll in an x-ray technician associate's degree program. If you would like to learn what courses can help teach you to process quality radiologic imaging results, read on. Schools offering Radiography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What X-Ray Technician Associate's Degree Programs Are Available?
X-ray technician training is part of a larger field called radiologic technology. An associate's degree in radiologic technology prepares you for a career as a radiologic technologist. Your program can teach you to prepare patients to have digital images taken of all parts of their bodies in order to diagnose or prevent different conditions. Successfully completing your 2-year program can often result in an Associate of Applied Science degree .
There aren't any radiologic technology programs that offer distance education courses. Your program may require you to complete hands-on experience through clinical work and practicum. Hands-on experience can develop skills that include the ability to use radiological equipment, the ability to limit patient and staff radiation exposure, the knowledge to evaluate image quality obtained from radiologic equipment and skills to interact effectively with both patients and medical staff.
What Courses Can I Expect?
Your program might feature courses in anatomy, physiology, physics, patient care, medical ethics, medical terminology and pathology. These programs also include degree-related courses in fluoroscopy, imaging, procedures, radiation protection, equipment use, image analysis and sectional anatomy. Expect to be required to complete general education courses in communications, English composition, general sociology, general psychology and humanities.
Do I Need Licensure or Certification?
Depending on your state of employment, you may be required to earn licensure in order to be a practicing radiologic technologist. Even though certification is voluntary, earning a credential may enhance your chances of finding a job in this field. The main certification for this field is offered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). You might also find that, depending on where you live, earning certification from the ARRT may fulfill licensure exam requirements.
What Is My Job Outlook?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that radiologic technician and technologist job openings may increase by 17% between 2008 and 2018 (www.bls.gov). This growth may be caused by a greater desire to monitor disease treatment progression, an aging population and technological advances. As of May 2010, the BLS estimated that the median salary for workers in this field was $54,340.
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