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Let's See What Develops: All about X-Ray Technicians

X-ray technicians, sometimes referred to as radiologic technicians or radiographers, may produce x-rays of the body for use by a physician in diagnosing medical problems. In addition to preparing radiologic equipment, the x-ray technician preps and positions the patient and operates advanced medical machinery in order to obtain an image as defined by a patient's doctor.

The majority of x-ray technicians are employed in a hospital setting, but there are opportunities in physician offices, outpatient testing centers, or long-term care facilities as well. As an x-ray technician, it is important to have physical stamina as you will most likely be on your feet for the entire work day. You may also have to assist patients with positioning by lifting or turning them in order to get the appropriate image.

X-Ray Technician Training Requirements

An x-ray technician is one of the many medical technician careers that involves obtaining an extensive knowledge of human anatomy and imaging technology. Most training programs can be completed in one to four years, depending on the degree being pursued -- certificate, associate's degree, or bachelor's degree. The most common program is the two-year associate's degree. Pursuing a four-year bachelor's degree should result in advanced opportunities in management and administration, which in turn, may lend themselves to higher earnings.

Following the completion of an accredited x-ray technician program, you may become certified through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). The majority of employers prefer to hire certified technicians.

Are X-Ray Technicians Exposed to Excessive Radiation?

The risk of radiation exposure as an x-ray technician, as it is in the majority of medical technician careers, is minimized by the use of lead sheets and aprons, gloves, and other shielding devices. You may also be required to wear a badge which measures area radiation levels and comprehensive records are maintained on the cumulative lifetime radiation exposure of all x-ray technicians.

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