Observing from the surface, the steps on how to become a Radiology Tech seem straightforward, however, nothing about pursuing this career field is straightforward. Radiologists are some of the most critical experts in the medical world. These techs work hand in hand with other medical experts such as nurses, doctors, surgeons, and dressers in order to ensure patients get the best medical attention.
The salary as a RAD technician is reasonably good. The physical demands of this job can be taxing for some. Techs spend most of their time at work standing. They are required to have good, if not impeccable interpersonal skills. This is because they will be dealing with patients or relatives of patients who will be at their most vulnerable state emotionally. Technically, techs deal with X-Ray machines as well as other high tech technology. In order to become a certified, you will need to take these steps:
Complete Your High School Education On a High Note
In this day and age, many teens don’t take high school seriously. Unfortunately, certain vocations demand that your grades, classes and extra-curricular activities coincide with your career aspirations. Thankfully, some students decide at an early stage as to the career they want to pursue when they grow up. This pre-planning is usually encouraged by their parents. What will the colleges demand of these potential students? It is essential that they do well in physics, biology, mathematics, and chemistry.
Pursue The Right College Courses
When pursuing college courses related to this career field, you want to focus your attention on the courses that prepare you for: certification, licensing, the interview process and of course, performing exceptional on the job – once you are hired. Keep in mind that the accreditation of this certificate depends mainly on the state laws. Irrespective of the route you follow to attain your certification, here are some of the basic subjects that must be covered:
- Radiographic Procedures
- Image Production
- Clinical Processes
- Medical Terminology
- Equipment Operation
- Anatomy And Physiology
- Radiation Protection
- Hands-On Training
Because this medical science involves radiation, which can lead to hazardous exposures, it is an imperative necessity that you not only learn the ropes theoretically but also in a practical hands on setting. Learning the basic precautions such as wearing gloves and safe operation of the equipment is a prerequisite. This safety first mindset not only protect tech, but also their patients. In the hands-on training, you should learn among other things, how to collect and process and then analyze medical images and data. You will also learn to apply your mathematical skills in the calculation of critical measurements.
Specializing Is The Key To Success
In certain vocations, a degree or a certificate means that you have arrived. Concerning many vocations within the medical field, the degree merely starts the process. However, you won’t be an “expert.” It is for this reason that you need to specialize. There are many areas of specialization in radiology and all you need to do is identify the one area that you love the most to work in. Among some of the areas to pick include MRI – magnetic resonance imaging, medical sonography, radiography, cellular imaging and computer tomography.
Get Certified – Then Get Licensed
After you have studied for your specialized line of radiology, the next step is proving that you are fit to become an expert RAD Tech in a medical establishment. Among the areas where your skills will be tested include communication, observation, motor and intellectual capacity. After you have proven to be qualified, the next event is being awarded a certificate certifying that you can practice as a Radiology Technician.
In most countries getting a certification is not enough. While a certificate shows that you are qualified as a radiology technician, it is the practicing license that gives you the mandate to practice in public or private establishments within a specific jurisdiction. In most cases, you will get the certification alongside the license. Still, if there is any doubt as to your license, contact your school and/or your state’s health department for directions.
How To Become a Radiology Tech? Get An Internship
After you have been proven to be fit to practice as a radiology technician, you are further required to train in the real world environment where real patients exist. It is in this environment that you will learn to deploy your communication, observation, and analytical skills. With an internship, you will get little or no pay for your services. However, the good thing is that you will gain real time experience and of course a much valued letter of recommendation from your supervisor. The essence of an internship is to help prepare you for a real job. Moreover, a majority of graduates will have a hard time finding a full-time job in this vocation without first participating in an internship.
Getting That Dream Job
Like every other job, you will need to send out resumes, fill out applications, talk to healthcare recruiters and of course, network. In many states, there are networking organizations and job agencies that help radiologists land jobs. On such platforms, the job seekers search for jobs which have been posted by firms requiring the services of these experts. Like with any other job, you will need to prepare for the interviews as well as the vetting process.
Augment Your Career
Once you have completed those steps, that is not the end! In fact, there is no end. Why not? Because technology is ever changing and medical science is always making strides. These evolutions necessitate that you engage in continuing education. You must evolve as technology and science evolves. Additionally, not remaining stagnant educationally ensures that you remain relevant in an increasingly competitive world. Besides taking supplemental courses, you will need to join a professional organization such as ASRT, where your interests as a radiology technician are honed as well as expanded. This is a career where the salary is good, but also where dedication is demanded.