Radiology Technicians are similar to ultrasound technicians in that they also perform diagnostic imaging examinations, but use X-ray technology. Radiology technologists use other imaging instruments like computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and mammography. Radiology technicians prepare patients for x-rays, explain the procedure, move them into position, place shields over exposed areas to protect against radiation, and set the controls on the x-ray machine to produce images at the correct density and detail. The most important ability a radiology technician must have is the ability to accurately follow doctor’s instructions so the doctors get exactly the image they need to diagnose the problem.
Radiology technicians make good money. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports a median annual salary of $52,210 in 2008, with the lowest 10% earning $35,100, and the highest wages nearing $80,000. Those working in physicians offices make the least amount of money, so if high income is your goal, look into positions at medical and diagnostic laboratories. Advancement usually requires specialization, like performing CT scans, mammography, or bone densitometry. Radiologist assistants also make more money but requires additional education and certification. If exposure to radiation is a concern, you might consider becoming an ultrasound technician.
Many states require licensure, though requirements vary. Technicians usually only have an associate degree, though some receive a certificate from 21-24 month programs. You should look for programs accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology, since these provide classroom and clinical instruction in anatomy, physiology, radiation physics, radiation protection, medical terminology, positioning patients, and other useful skills. Students will have an advantage if they took high school math, physics, chemistry and biology courses. Since technicians work closely with patients, they must have excellent people skills to calm nerves and work with patients who may be in pain. Associate’s degrees in radiography and bachelor’s degrees in radiological sciences are available online.
There are multiple educational paths that students can take to become an ultrasound technician or diagnostic medical sonographer. The schools below do not offer ultrasound-specific training, but they do offer medical assisting and other healthcare programs that are closely related. You can request information by clicking on any of the links below.
||DeVry University — For over 80 years, DeVry University has focused on relevant areas of study, offering associate, bachelor's and master's degree programs and specializations that cover 34 different career fields. Earn your associate degree in Health Information Technology from DeVry University, and prepare to be an HIT leader in contemporary hospitals, physicians' offices, medical clinics, and more. DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.|
||Hodges University — Founded in 1990, Hodges University is one the premier private universities in the State of Florida. The AS in Health Information Management and AS in Health Administration programs, while not ultrasound training programs, do teach students how to use information technology to meet the needs of the healthcare industry. Hodges University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.|
||Keiser University — Keiser University, founded in 1977, is a private, regionally accredited career university offering certificates, associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. The AS in Medical Assisting program prepares students to perform medical assisting duties under the direction of a physician or practitioner. Keiser University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.|
||Herzing University — With a 45 year history, Herzing University is an accredited university that offers associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees as well as diplomas in over 45 different programs. The AS in Medical Assisting program builds on the online diploma program by incorporating the general education requirements required for this level of degree. Herzing University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.|
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