Radiologist technicians usually need to earn an associate's degree in radiologic technology or radiography for entry-level employment. These programs are available as Associate of Applied Science or Associate of Science degrees typically offered through 2-year colleges or technical schools. Some states require students to complete programs with accreditation from the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) to qualify to get licensure.
Common concepts explored in these types of courses include:
- Radiation biology
- Patient care and positioning
- X-ray machine operation
- Imaging analysis
In addition to lecture-based sessions, many radiologist technician courses have a clinical component in which students practice using equipment. In addition, programs usually have separate courses dedicated to field experience at a health care facility. Associate's degree programs usually prepare students to take the radiologist technician certification exam from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).
List of Classes
Introduction to Radiography Course
This course introduces students to radiologic imaging procedures and tools. Students learn the basic roles of radiologist technicians in health care settings and the variety of instruments they may use. Topics covered may include sonogram machines, X-rays and evaluation of radiographic images. This course may also introduce students to the various areas of the body susceptible to receiving radiologic care, such as the skull, abdomen, thorax or urinary system.
Anatomy and Physiology Course
This course is usually taken early on in the series of radiologist technician classes. Students study human body systems, including the muscular, skeletal, respiratory and integumentary (skin) systems. Part of this course focuses on organ and system names, locations and functions. This course may also cover certain human diseases and how they can be affected by radiologist technicians.
Advanced Imaging Course
This course focuses on radiologic imaging techniques beyond X-ray imaging. Students will learn about CT and MRI technologies and how to perform imaging procedures using these technologies. The course could also cover techniques for mammography, PET scan, bone densitometry and other specialized tests. Topics in nuclear medicine, cross sectional anatomy and advanced communication methods may also be addressed.
Radiologic Pathology Course
Radiologist technicians play a role in the diagnostic procedures of human disease. In a radiologic pathology course, students study various human diseases in order to identify such diseases on a radiologic scan or image. Time is spent on identifying common diseases, medical terminology for such diseases and typical radiologic processes for assessing such diseases. This class covers normal radiologic results and abnormal results so that students develop skills identifying the difference between the two.
Radiologic Positioning Course
This is a course that offers hands-on or clinical training opportunities. Students study X-ray equipment and how to produce various types of radiographic images. With an understanding of radiologic pathology, students develop skills in different positions necessary for a variety of areas in the human body. Specific topics of study may include the facial bones, skull, extremities, spine and thorax (between the neck and diaphragm). This course may also pay particular attention to position techniques for patients who are pregnant or unable to move certain parts of their body.
Health Care Law and Ethics Course
This course may be taken at any time in a radiologist technician's degree program. It is a general class that covers the basics in health care law and ethics specifically because they pertain to radiology. Students study appropriate procedures in gathering information, maintaining medical records and giving patients and patients' families medical information. Laws pertaining to patient confidentiality may be covered along with ethical practices and situations that may present conflicts of interest.