Rad Tech Salary, Education, Working Condition & Career

 To become a rad technician, one has to complete at least a 2-year associate degree from an accredited community college to be eligible to sit for the required professional exams and practice (according http://www.wikihow.com/Become-a-Radiology-Technician). Furthering one's education into a 4-year radiology program and even going further, greatly enhances one's chances of attracting more income for themselves and being entrusted with much higher positions and responsibilities as well. One is required to have a sound mastery of the human anatomy and physiology, some physics, radiology safety and dealing with patients without aggravating them in any way. There are clinical or practical sessions that one is required to take right after going through classroom courses to help them better their skills with dealing with the radiology equipments that they will encounter every day in their career.

Working Condition

 Unlike what most people outside the medical profession think, the working environment and conditions of a rad tech is very clean and exciting for all that would like to jump into the profession. A radiologic technologist operates very sophisticated state-of-the-art radiology equipment designed to take clear and accurate images of virtually any part of the body, and present them to physicians and other medical professionals for diagnostic purposes and further analysis of patient's health condition.

Salary and Benefits

 The environment is very clean, quiet and formal with many interactions with other medical professionals who rely on the radiological imaging to make their diagnosis or to ascertain certain kinds of medical conditions before they proceed further with their patient's treatment options. The salary for a X-radiation technician in the current job market, is in the upwards of $65,000 and is foretasted to increase (source: http://radiologytechniciansalarysource.com). There are bound to be some variations depending on one's locality or region of employment as well as their level of education and experience in the field. Whatever the variation, a medical radiation technologist should expect to have a secure job with a very steady and decent income.

Reasons to Become a Radiology Technician

 As the day goes by, similar situations continue to present themselves and just like the colors of the rainbow that can mix themselves into an infinite number of hues, so is the nature of experiences that come with this position, and it is very exciting indeed. Overall, this is a very exciting career that involves handling lots of technological equipment in a very clean and professional environment as well as dealing with other medical experts in a very fast-paced environment. It is true that the academic requirements or the college training to become a radiology technician can be quite a challenging or daunting task for many student; however, the benefits that come after competing the radiology program and landing oneself a job, are far much rewarding and over-compensates for the struggle. This is definitely a financially rewarding career with great job security and a really promising outlook not only in one country or locality, but all over the world. This is a really great time to become a radiology technician, and I really enjoy it.

Becoming a Radiology Technician

How do you become a radiology tech? Or, how did I become an X-ray tech? I’m going to go through some of those education requirements now.

You need grade 12 and you need 27 credits of post-secondary education. Whether it’s from a college or university including statistics, communications, human anatomy and physiology, introduction to physics, introduction to sociology or psychology, and structure and modeling in chemistry. Those are prerequisite courses to be taken prior to coming into the X-ray program at Red River.
The program itself is a 20-month diploma program at Red River College. It has an August or September start date, depending on where the long weekend falls. And it’s 8 months at Red River. So you’re going from September to April at Red River College and then starting in May you do a 12 month clinical rotation at a base site. In Winnipeg the base sites are the Health Sciences Center, Saint Boniface, Seven Oaks, Victoria General, the Grace. I think I got all of them. Brandon in rural Manitoba, as well as a lot of other rural sites. South quirk, Steinbeck Portage the Prairie, Dauphin, Boundary Trails, which is up by Warren. So it’s a lot of different areas that you can actually find a lot of different sites that you can go to for your 12-month clinical rotation.

Once you’re finished and you’ve completed the program, and passed everything, and you graduated, and it’s all happening that you have to take a national certification exam through our National Association in order to practice in the USA. You can’t just graduate from the program and go on to become an X-ray Tech in a department. You have to pass this national exam. It’s a four hour exam that you write, post-graduation and once you’ve passed that then you become certified and you can work as a Technologist anywhere in US. And then in Manitoba you do automatically become registered with the MEMRT which is our provincial association and the CAMRT which is our national association.

Day in the Life of a Radiologic Technologist

Is everyday basically the same? What do you think? No! No day at the hospital or at the clinic is going to be anything the same as the day before. It all depends on the weather, it all depends on, you know, how many parties went on that weekend. Who knows? How many fights broke out at the bar that weekend? There’s a lot of different things that can actually take part in how busy we are, what types of patients we see and just how crazy it can get. So it all depends on, and it doesn’t matter where you are, you could be at a clinic you could be at a hospital. Doesn’t matter. Every day is different! You never know what’s going to walk through the door. So lots of variety.

How much of your day is spent working with other people? Well, all day! Everyday! We work with Doctors, we work with the Nurses on the wards. When we go up to the wards to actually take these images of the patients. And in the department too. We have clerical staff that answer the phones for us and as well as on the wards. We have to talk to them all the time as well. Colleagues, our own… our peers within the department as well as colleagues at other sites. We also have to be able to deal with the family of the patient or the patient’s family. A lot of times we have to communicate with them. Sometimes it’s a language barrier, sometimes we need them to help us translate what we need the patient to do, like hold their breath. Sounds very simple? But not everybody knows what we’re talking about when we say that. So we sometimes have to use the family member or we physically will actually show them. This is what we want you to do. And, of course, the patients. Those are the most important people that we deal with every day.

Types of Work Environments

What are the different areas that you can actually work as a radiology technician? There’s really about two basic types of environments. There’s the hospital, at which there’s a variety, when it comes down to just the hospital setting. Rural hospitals, community hospitals within the city and some place like the Health Sciences Center, which is a trauma center, so we see a lot of critical cases coming through there. Or a clinic. So a clinic would be, you know, if you go to the Doctor’s office they give you a requisition, say go down stairs to the clinic and have a chest X-ray done. That would be your clinic situation. The clinic type of environment.

So at the hospital, you can see emergency patients. This is an image of a patient, of a resuscitation room at a site where there’s more than one critical patient and you can see – I don’t have a pointer on this on this. Here is an X-ray machine, it’s a portable machine that we can bring to the patient and take the images at the bedside, so they don’t have to come to us when they are that critical. We also have the in-patients. Those patients that are in-house, in the hospital, they come to us in the department, in the X-ray department or we go to them. In the hospital we also see the out-patients that come from the clinics within the hospital or off-site. And those I call the walking patients. They’re the ones that can walk in the room, pretty much do what you need them to do before it and them they’re on their way. And then we also have the special procedures, which I sort of touched base about already.

At the medical clinic, they see the out-patient. The walking patient, the majority of them come walking on their own and they don’t need a lot of assistance. Whereas the patients in the hospital need more assistance than the typical walking patient.