Radiologic Technologist Qualifications
First note that a radiologic technologist is very different from a radiologist. A radiologist must spend years in medical school and even more years as in a residency, just like any other physician. The most common educational qualification for a radiologic technologist is the completion of a two-year associates degree program. Many colleges offer either associates or bachelors degree programs in radiologic technology, though associates program are more common. There are also certification programs lasting six to twelve months. Programs will typically include courses in anatomy, pathology, patient care, radiation physics, radiation protection, and image evaluation. Most states require radiologic technologists to be licensed. Licensing qualifications vary by state, but generally require the completion of an accredited training program and passing an exam. Continuing education classes are often required to maintain certification.
Radiologic technologists need to have the technical skills to understand and operate complex radiology machinery. A strong aptitude for science and mathematics are important qualifications for radiology work. You will also need to be highly detail-oriented. You will often be working closely with patients, so good interpersonal skills are highly beneficial. Physical stamina is also essential, as you must be able to lift and move patients who need assistance and be on your feet for long periods of time.
Related work experience is generally not required for work as a radiologic technologist, but it can help give you a leg up on the competition. Many radiologic technologists gain valuable experience through part-time work or volunteering in a health care facility while still in school.
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