What Is the Process of Becoming an X-Ray Technician?

female xray tech

Key Points

What Does an X-Ray Technician Do?

Steps Necessary to Become an X-Ray Technician

Start Your Career in X-Ray as a Technician

Medical careers are growing quickly across the U.S., creating demand for individuals to fill open positions in healthcare facilities. One of these areas, radiologic technology, is one of the fastest-growing careers available. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook will continue to grow at 13% between 2016 and 2026, much faster than the norm.

What Does an X-Ray Technician Do?

X-ray technicians aid physicians and other medical personnel in inpatient care. They use advanced equipment to take pictures of patients that help medical professionals diagnose diseases or other conditions. Technicians are often responsible for positioning patients properly for x-rays, ensuring the images are the best quality, and other duties such as:

  • Injecting critical trace agents
  • Administering x-ray images
  • Maintaining imaging equipment
  • Managing radiation exposure for patients

Radiologic or x-ray technicians work in hospitals and long-term care facilities as well as doctor’s offices and clinics. They can work with patients of all ages and in various specialties such as pediatrics, cardiac, pulmonary, and much more.

Life as an X-ray tech is equal parts demanding and rewarding, like many other healthcare jobs. They may be expected to work weekends, nights, or holidays since X-rays are often needed in emergencies. Relationship skills are another aspect to consider. They must have and use high-level communication skills throughout the process, from the first encounter with a patient to delivering imaging results to their supervising doctor.

X-Ray Techs also maintain X-ray equipment and manage patient records and other documents. 

Steps Necessary to Become an X-Ray Technician

Before you can start your career as an X-Ray technician, there are important requirements you must meet first. With a high school diploma under your belt, you can continue to the next steps:

Attend an accredited educational program

You must attend an accredited program in x-ray technology. You need 120 hours to complete your certification and this can be done in less than a year. In the program, you’ll learn the ins and outs of direct patient care, understand how to safely operate sophisticated diagnostic imaging equipment, and develop a thorough understanding of patient anatomy. Additionally, you’ll get hands-on training to display your knowledge.

Licensing and certification 

Although licensing requirements vary from state to state, you may need to become licensed to work. The X-Ray Academy of Texas guides students on the certification process in Texas.

Start your job search

Once you’ve completed your NCT program and earned a certification, you can start looking for work. The good news is that X-ray techs are needed in a wide variety of healthcare settings, so you should have options. Polish up your resume and practice your interviewing skills. 

Start Your Career in X-Ray as a Technician

X-ray technology is a great place for you to begin your medical career. You can make a difference using your skills, education, and passion for X-rays as a technician. To learn more about our NCT program, give The X-Ray Academy of Texas a call at 214-613-9729.

By Leslie Radford
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