Radiology technician classes may be taken as part of a two-year associate's degree program in radiologic technology. Admission to an associate's program in radiologic technology may require the completion of prerequisite courses in the areas of science, math, psychology, English and technology.
Students will learn to position patients on X-ray machines for the best image quality, protect patients from radiation exposure and analyze radiographic images for common diseases. Clinical labs and clinical experiences are normally incorporated. Students often do observations at local medical facilities and get supervised hands-on experience helping with radiographic procedures.
Here are some of the main concepts taught in radiology technician courses:
- Human body systems
- Utilizing technology
- Radiographic quality training
- Communication, confidentiality and compassion
- Radiology positioning techniques
- Protective measures in the work-place
Graduates of these programs are usually qualified for certification through organizations such as the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), which offers the Radiologic Technologist Radiography (RTR) credential. Some states require both certification and graduation from an approved program to work in this field.
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List of Courses
Anatomy and Physiology Course
In some radiology technician programs, an anatomy and physiology course may be a prerequisite to the rest of the courses in the program. In an A&P course, the basics are covered in human body systems such as the skeletal, muscular, skin and respiratory systems. Students also learn about human disease and disorders, names of muscles and bones, and pertinent medical terminology.
Radiographic Quality Course
A radiographic quality course teaches the importance of producing reliable radiographic images. Students learn how to analyze images and how to troubleshoot equipment when images do not produce correctly. Methods in quality control are explored along with tests for equipment malfunctions and possible human errors.
Patient Care Course
Radiology technicians work with patients each day to perform X-rays and other radiographic procedures. In this regard, a patient care course provides training on dealing with an array of patients from children to elder adults. Students start to learn positioning techniques for different kinds of patients as well as how to interact with patients. Topics in patient confidentiality may also be covered along with bedside manner techniques.
Radiology Positioning and Techniques Course
Radiology technicians need to take X-rays of different areas of the human body. A radiology positioning course teaches students how to manipulate X-ray machines in order to produce the correct radiologic image. Students also learn how to position a patient in order to capture and read images pertaining to areas such as the cervical spine, thoracic spine, bony thorax, sacrum, facial bones and cranium. This course also provides information on how to work with patients in different capacities such as someone who is immobile, pregnant or incapacitated in another way.
Radiographic Pathology Course
Pathology is the study of human disease, from cause to effect. In a radiographic pathology course, skills are developed to evaluate common diseases as they appear on radiographic images. Students will be taken through processes of diseases, radiographic procedures to diagnose such diseases and terminology used for such common pathologic abnormalities.
Radiographic Protection Course
This course teaches students the importance of protection from radiation. Students learn how radiation affects different areas of the body and how to limit their, as well as their patients', exposure. Specific topics on how to limit ionizing radiation exposure and what to do in the case of overexposure will be explored.