A career in Radiologic technology is for anyone who is into science and wants hands-on practice on how these things work. As with any other technical professional, you must have a specific repertoire of soft and hard skills.
The hard skills involve the more technical part of the profession, such as knowing how to handle the equipment and other medical skills. Soft skills include communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, work ethic, and other professional skills. You need a good blend of both kinds of skills to excel in this field.
What Education Do You Need To Become A Radiologic Technologist?
- First, you must pass through an associate degree program in Radiologic Technology. You can also get a bachelor’s degree in the same program.
- Depending on the institute, you may be required to have a minimum GPA. Besides this, each institution has its process for admiring students, such as criminal background checks and professional references.
- A radiologic technologist program typically lasts two to four years, depending on your schedule. You may also take courses in correspondence, in which case the length of your course may be longer.
- When studying the course, you will have general subjects such as mathematics, English, anatomy, and communication skills. If you opt for specialized courses, you will have lab classes related to radiologic science and procedure.
- Throughout your course, you may also be required to complete an internship with certified radiologists before entering the professional field.
- To get a job as a radiologic technologist, you must be registered as a professional under the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).
- Your state laws will also dictate whether you need a license to practice.
What Skills Do You Need To Become A Radiologic Technologist?
As the leading job of the profession, radiographers should know how to operate all kinds of radiography equipment. A wide array of radiography machinery is quite complex for regular laypersons. Still, for radiologic technologists, these types of equipment are essential, and they need to learn the ins and outs of it.
They need to learn how to calibrate and adjust the machinery properly so that every patient is comfortable during the procedure. They should also keep in mind the exposure to radiation that every patient and technician is privy to and maintain all safety procedures in line for emergencies.
Since the world of technology is constantly evolving, radiologic technologists must keep their arsenal updated and open to learning about new technology.
As a radiologic technologist, you will have to communicate with various patients. Every patient will be different, so the radiographer has to communicate effectively with them and make them understand the procedure.
They also sometimes have to interact with the patient’s family and friends and walk them through the processes. Sometimes, the patients may be anxious or nervous. In such a case, the radiologist will try to calm them down and reassure them of their safety.
Medical and Basic anatomy skills
Since radiologic technologist is required to run medical procedures, they need to have in-depth knowledge of the biology and anatomy of a person. They should understand how the human anatomy works, which is why the courses for a radiologic technologist involve basic biology and general medicine.
Because most of their work involved interacting with patients and scanning images for their diagnosis, they should know which part of the body to take a picture of and how to position the patient’s body in the right direction to get a clear picture.
They should also consider the radioactive nature of these images, which is why they have to ensure that these potentially dangerous radiations are not hampering the well-being of the patients. Basic safety standards and protocols are a significant part of being a radiologic technologist.
For any difficulties during the procedure or unexpected circumstances caused by different patients, the technician should be able to solve the problems quickly without wasting time. They should be able to make quick and logical decisions based on solution-focused thinking.
This is the study of light-sensitive materials such as photographic films. Sensitometers are used to evaluate how processing the images and radiation exposure can affect the emulsion of the photographic film. This is an essential skill that the radiographer needs to know to create clear and accurate pictures that the doctor can analyze properly and diagnose the patients.
Radiologist technicians are the ones who schedule the imaging procedures for all the patients. There can be hundreds of people in line to take this procedure. The technician should be able to manage all their files separately and submit the proper one to the doctors once the process is done.
Record management is a critical skill a technician must possess to make work easier and simpler for doctors and patients.
Steps To Become A Radiologic Technologist
Becoming a radiologic technologist is different for everyone since you can take a two or 4-year course or even opt for specialized techniques. However, the most essential steps are explained below:
Get a high school diploma or equivalent
Almost every school offering radiologic technologist courses requires that you be a high school graduate or equivalent. If you have volunteered at some radiology care center, it is a plus point for you.
Bachelor’s or associate’s degree
Apply for a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in radiologic technology. It is best to go for an accredited institute accredited to ARRT.
After this, you will be eligible to get a certification from ARRT. Most states have rules about getting a license or registration to practice legally as a radiographer.
Whatever the case, it is recommended that you establish your professionalism in the field by getting a certification from ARRT, and it also increases your chances of getting employed.
Certification courses can also be for specialized fields, such as radiography, nuclear medicine technology, radiation therapy, MRI, and sonography.
Renew your certification every two years after you receive it. You need to follow a few ethics and rules for ARRT to consider you a qualified professional in the field.