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Tips on How to become a Radiologic Technologist (X-Ray Tech)

Updated on June 22, 2012

2 view hand x-ray (radiograph)

Helpful Hints on getting into the right program

So you're considering a career in Radiologic Technology and are wondering what may that entail. I'll briefly discuss the route I took and where it landed me after all was said and done.

1. Search available programs in your area.

When doing so, find out whether or not they are certificate, A.S., or Bachelor degree programs. As of 2015 the ARRT will change guidelines requiring a Technologist to have at least an Associate degree. The degree Does not have to be in Radiologic Technology so a certificate will work for those with a prior college education.

2. Locate local Hospitals

It is important to fully understand what the Radiologic Technologist (R.T.) does in a normal work day. If you contact the local Radiology Dept. alot of places will allow you to do a job shadow. This will give you a better understanding if this career is right for you.

3. Try to get an entry job in the medical field

Once you decide this is the career for you, try to obtain employment as an entry level employee at a hospital. Some entry level positions include Transporters, and or Patient care Techs. This experience gained will look good on your resume for both school and will also put your foot in the door at a facility once you've graduated.

4. Contact the schools you decided you would like to attend.

This is important because all programs and schools have varying pre-requisites. I personally wasted time completing one programs pre-requisites, was not accepted so had to essentially start over the following year completing another colleges classes. Also find out who the program director is and begin to form some type of rapport. This worked wonders for me, by continually checking in from time to time my enthusiasm was noticed and when it came to the application process and interview the staff knew me and my face.

5. Be Patient!!!

This cannot be stressed enough. Like I had mentioned previously I had to take classes over and it took me 2 years to get into the program. Do not get discouraged if you're not accepted the first, as this is common as there are sometimes alot of applicants. (Again, the benefit of contacting the programs directors beforehand, you already standout from the rest!)

My Story

I began my career at 21 years old when I was offered a job as a transporter via my Uncle who was a Radiologic Technologist. I absolutely fell in love with the Hospital, the work and most of all the Patients. I soon moved back to CA where I attended Cypress College during the day and took E.M.T. courses at night. I felt it was important to maintain a job in the medical field like I had said previously to keep me in the loop as well as add some income. I worked as an E.M.T. while I attended Cypress's program during the day. I graduated with Honor's 2 years later and moved to the great PNW. I worked in X-ray for only a short period of time because of an introduction into Interventional Radiology. I trained in IR for a year and then was recruited to cross train into the Cardiac Cath lab. I have been working in both of those fields for a total of 7.5 years and as a tech for 8. I now train incoming Cardiovascular Techs who are at the hospital for their clinical training. I absolutely love my job and the satisfaction it brings me. I will be a writing a similar blog on Tips onto becoming a Cardiovascular Tech.

Above all is Patient care

Always remember the number one job in any medical career is being a Patient advocate. If you always keep that in mind you will be a better Patient care giver and a successful and valued employee!!

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