Requirements To Become An X Ray Tech
A x-ray technician is someone who takes x-rays for patients who are in need. An x-ray technician plays a big part in helping a doctor diagnose what a potential problem may be in a patient. If you are considering becoming an x-ray technician, here are is an outlook on the career to help you understand where and how you should get started.
Where do X-Ray Technicians Work?
X-ray technicians can either work in a hospital or they can work in a small clinic or outpatient centers.
How Many Hours Do X-Ray Technicians Work?
X-ray technicians typically work about 40 hours a week on average. That is a full time technician however. Part time x-ray technicians will work around 25 hours a week instead. Like other medical professionals, a technician may have to work holidays, evenings and weekends.
What Are the Basic Duties of an X-Ray Technician?
X-ray technicians do the very important tasks of developing, fixing and loading all of the different x-ray films of patients that come in and need to have an x-ray taken. All x-ray technicians are thoroughly trained to use all of the technology and latest x-ray equipment. An x-ray techician will need to learn how to use all the different machines that are required to take x-rays.
Here are the basic jobs that an x-ray technician will do:
- Preparing the patient for the x-rays
- Making the patient feel more comfortable
- Explaining to the patient how the x-ray will work
- Making sure the patient is in the best position possible for the x-ray
- Working the x-ray equipment & positioning it correctly
- Making sure that you and the patient are not exposed to radiation
People need x-rays for many different reasons. They need to them to check bones to find out if they are broken or not, they need an x-ray to check for tumors or large masses that may be in the body. Because x-rays are so important in the medical world today, x-ray technicians are more in demand than you believe they are.
What is the Average Salary for an X-Ray Technician?
How much an x-ray technician makes really depends on a few different factors such as:
- Your employer
- Job location
- Your experience
- How much training you have had
- Your Skills
If you work in a large hospital in a city area where the chances of accidents are higher, you’ll make more than if you work in a small clinic or hospital in a small town. On average, an x-ray technician will make around $54,000. The longer you are in this career, the more you can make.
Educational Requirements for an X-Ray Technician
Before you can start x-ray technician schooling,you will need to have a high school diploma or a GED. This is a requirement for being accepted into a technician programs. Many programs and schools will require you to take an entrance exam which means taking biology, math, physics and chemistry is very helpful in high school. You will also need to go through an American Heart Association CPR class.
When you are involved in one of these programs, you are working towards getting the certification you need to actually become the technician. Some of the courses you can expect to take during these training programs are:
- Basic Anatomy
- X-ray equipment and maintenance
- Film processing
- Office procedures
- Medical Ethnics
- Radiation protection
- Chest and extremity radiography
- Radio-graphic positioning
- Medical Records Management
The most common way to get into this career is to take part in the X-Ray Certificate Program or to get your associates degree. The only reason why you would need to get a bachelor’s degree is to get a position as a supervisor. Both the certificate program and the associates degree will not take anymore than two years to achieve. Most programs will only take you around one year. You will need to get your licensing before practicing.
What Are Some Challenges X-Ray Technicians Face?
You may think that when you are taking an x-ray for a patient, you will be able to talk to them about what it is that is wrong. However the technician is not able to speak to the patients about what is in the x-rays. No matter what the problem is and no matter how much the patient asks you to tell them the problem, you are not allowed to discuss it. You will pass the x-rays onto the doctor and the doctor will then tell the patients what the problem is. This can be difficult for some people to do, especially if you notice something serious is their x-rays. You can’t give off any indication that there is something wrong with the patient.
You also will have to deal with patients, which doesn’t sound like it’s that big of a deal but some people are not comfortable with getting x-rays done and because of this, the patient can make you very frustrated. You’ll also have to deal with looking at broken bones and other injuries. You will have to teach yourself how to keep calm and relaxed so you don’t set the patient off in anyway.
Also, like it was mentioned earlier, you may have to work on holidays and nights and weekends. This is common in almost all careers in the medical field, though.