Radiology specialists offer important services within the healthcare industry. The skills they need can be learned with a two or four-year program. Once they have earned their certificate, they can work closely alongside radiologists and patients to take images that will help doctors diagnose medical problems.
Compared to other professions that require two or four years of school to earn a certificate, radiologic technologists can earn a good living. Of course, students looking to take classes to get their radiology certificate will want to know more about the profession beyond the salary alone. A day in the life of a radiology technologist involves working with patients to take diagnostic images. This is done in a clinical setting and requires the use of imaging equipment and x-ray machines.
Radiology technicians do not have to interpret the images they take. Their priority is to make sure the images taken are clear enough that the radiologists and physicians can examine them and make a proper diagnosis for the patient. Radiology technicians also need to know how to maintain sophisticated X-ray and imaging equipment, enforce clinical safety standards using hazardous equipment and work closely with their patients to make sure they are informed and comfortable throughout the process.
Licensing For Radiology Certificate
The steps to take to earn your radiology certificate will depend on the state you live and work in. Currently, there are no requirements at the national level for earning a radiology certificate. Beyond learning basic radiology certification, a technologist may decide to specialize in specific procedures including breast sonography, densitometry, mammography, computed tomography or vascular sonography. The need for radiology technicians is expected to continue growing in the coming years. For those willing to put in the hard work and due diligence and learn the technologies and skills needed to do the job well, they will have found a great career to enjoy.
How To Pursue Radiology Certificate
Not all radiology technologists will follow the same career path because they will have different end goals. Some will earn their radiology certificate and others will earn their bachelor’s degree. Below are some of the basic steps for getting your radiology certificate.
1. High School Diploma
The most basic prerequisite for obtaining a radiology certificate is to graduate from high school. You may also choose to get your high school certificate if you dropped out. If you have your heart set on a radiology career while attending high school, pay attention in math and science and try to volunteer or work in a healthcare setting to get a better idea of what it will be like working in the industry.
2. Attend An Undergraduate Radiology Technology Program
To be eligible or certification, a radiology technologist can earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Depending on how far you want to go in your career, it may be best to earn a bachelor’s degree. You will find yourself being more qualified for career opportunities. It should be reminded, however, that the degree you earn does not have to be in radiology technology.
3. Apply For Radiology Certification
Like mentioned earlier, to earn your radiology certificate, there is no national radiology licensing requirements to be met. The state you apply for certification will have their requirements for obtaining a radiology certificate. Most radiologic technologists will pursue their certification through ARRT to ensure they have maximized employment potential. The process of applying with ARRT involves submitting an ethics application, proof of acceptable academic records and passing a test that will assess your cognitive skills and knowledge of the industry.
4. Maintain Certification
Once earning your radiology certificate, you will have to renew your certification every year. Renewing technologists will have to earn at least 24 hours of credit every year to stay current with their radiology certification. Compliance includes following regulations, adhering to standards of ethics and completing continuing education requirements as set forth by the state you work in.