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What to Expect From Online Radiology Technician Schools

Imagine if something malfunctioned inside your body and your doctor could only rely on your description of the pain to diagnose and treat your condition. Luckily, medical and radiological technology may allow your physician to get a clear picture of what is happening on the inside. A radiology technician using non-invasive imaging equipment may performs the tests that allow doctors to make life-saving diagnoses and treatment decisions.

Radiologic Technology

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for radiologic technologists is expected to increase by about 28 percent from 2010 to 2020. This is faster than the average for all occupations. Online radiology technician schools may help you establish a career in this growing health care field by preparing you for employment in a variety of medical settings. These may include hospitals, physician offices, outpatient centers or government medical facilities. Regardless of the location, you may be trained to safely prepare patients for testing and to operate the advanced medical equipment necessary to obtain clear images of a patient's body according to physician orders.

Online radiology technician programs: The picture of convenience

Although certificate and bachelor's degree programs are available to radiology technician students, an associate degree is also a popular course of study. Once enrolled in radiology technician classes online, you may be benefited from the convenience of flexible course schedules and the opportunity to work at your own pace. While pursuing your degree, you may anticipate taking classes in patient care procedures and positioning, medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, medical ethics and more. Some on-site clinical instruction may be required, so it is important to consult with the admissions departments of the schools you are interested in attending to obtain a clear picture of the requirements.

During your training at an online radiology technician school, you may have the opportunity to specialize in computer tomography as a CT technologist; magnetic resonance imaging as an MRI technologist; or in mammography.

Following graduation, guidelines to obtain your license as a radiology technician are established by the state in which you intend to work. However, you may choose to pursue voluntary certification via the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Certification eligibility requirements include graduation from an ARRT-approved accredited program and passing an examination.

The dollars and cents of a career as a radiology technician

The median annual wage of radiology technologists in 2008, according to the BLS, was $53,230. Wages may vary according to the industry in which you work. For example, individuals in medical and diagnostic laboratories earned a median annual wage of $55,620 in 2009, according to BLS.

5 tips for landing and preparing for your first radiology technician interviews

You have worked hard, studied hard and graduated from an online radiology technician program. Now it is time to find a job. Following are five suggestions that may help you secure your first interviews and 'wow' potential employers.

  1. Network. Always keep your eyes peeled for opportunities to connect with possible job prospects. Your doctor, school career advisors and industry associations are excellent ways to establish contacts who may lead you to employment opportunities.
  2. Be an early bird. Always leave plenty of time to travel to an interview. Traffic or other unexpected delays can happen at any time. Arriving early also gives you time to observe the work environment and get a feel for the tone of the organization. Do things seem to be going smoothly? Are employees happy and friendly? Does the equipment look clean and well maintained?
  3. Do your homework. Whether your interview is at a hospital, outpatient center or physician office, conduct preliminary research about the organization so you can ask appropriate and pertinent questions.
  4. Presentation is key. Although once hired you may be required to wear scrubs, you should present yourself at your interview in business attire with several fresh copies of your resume prepared.
  5. Practice makes perfect. You may not be able to anticipate every question the interviewer may present, but you can probably count on some standard items. Why are you interested in radiology? What parts of the field do you most enjoy? While you do not want to sound like you are reading an internal script, practicing responses in your mind can help alleviate nerves.
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