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X-Ray Technician Schools

Radiology is a versatile technology used in diverse health care settings such as hospitals, outpatient imaging centers, physicians' private practices, and even veterinary clinics. Many variations of basic X-ray machines have been developed, expanding the use of this technology and opportunities for professionals in the field.

Radiology schools provide training programs and specializations in diagnostic imaging technology. This involves X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs. While magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines are massive devices that require super-cooled liquids to keep the machines cooled, and require entire rooms to safely house them, X-ray machines are the oldest and simplest machines to work with; some machines are even attached to mobile devices.

What to Look For in X-ray Schools

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, most states require practicing X-ray technicians to be licensed. Licensing in most states requires a certification exam either from the state or from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT), the BLS reports. If you plan on being employed as a Radiologic Technologist -- a licensed position and title -- make sure your school is accredited by an accreditation agency approved by the ARRT.

There are non-degree level courses that award certificates or diplomas in radiology, but ARRT policy is to accept only students who have obtained either an associate or bachelor's degree in addition to completing a radiological educational program. The degree does not need to be in a radiological field, however, students are required to have completed the needed academic coursework prior to certification.

AART certification requires completing a degree program within a certain time frame, taking and passing the ARRT certification test, and meeting the ARRT's ethical standards. Keep in mind that program requirements and prerequisites tend to change, so check the ARRT website to find the most current info.

X-Ray Specializations

X-ray technician schools offer a wide variety of specializations or programs focusing on diagnostic imaging. X-rays have been used to peer into a body, since the first X-rays were taken in 1896. Since then, more uses have been found for X-rays besides identifying broken bones, for example:

  • Tomography - Layering multiple X-ray images, to create images of a cross-section of the body, usually accomplished by a computer
  • Mammography - Identifying cancerous tumors of the breast
  • Angiography - X-ray of a patient's vascular system
  • Fluoroscopy - uses continuous X-rays to create "X-ray movies" to examine blood vessels or the gastrointestinal tract

Using an X-ray machine is more advanced today than it has been at any point in the past, with more specialty options available for X-ray technicians both during the training program and in a professional career. The Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests there may be good opportunities for those qualified to work in different specializations.

Attending X-ray Schools Online

Due to the hands-on nature of training in X-ray technology and techniques, online programs are usually not approved for certification. However, online studies are an option for practicing professionals looking to polish their skills. Many states mandate continuing education (CE) for licensed radiological technicians, and the ARRT requires registered technicians to receive CE each year. These programs may be available either partially or entirely through online programs. 

Additionally, if you have some experience working as an X-ray technologist or in a related field in radiographic health care, you may meet the prerequisites for online X-ray tech programs designed specifically for individuals working in what is known as a "limited scope X-ray" capacity, who wish to earn a degree. Often, these certificates or degrees are named "fast track radiology" programs because they assume you already have some of the basic skills and knowledge to expand on.

More Resources for Students in X Ray Technology


Sources:

  1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/, accessed July 29, 2016
  2. College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/, accessed July 29, 2016
  3. The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, https://www.arrt.org/, accessed July 29, 2016

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X-Ray Technician/Back Office Medical Assistant

About Brightwood College

Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

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Bachelor of Radiation Science Technology
  • Ranked 23rd among the Best Online Graduate Education Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • A public research university with an enrollment of more than 42,000 students.
  • Its student-faculty ratio is 16:1, and 43.1% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • Has been the source of many discoveries creating positive change for society including co-op education and the oral polio vaccine since its founding in 1819.
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A.S. - Healthcare Information Technology
  • Offers special tuition pricing for Veterans, Active Duty Military and spouses/qualifying dependents of all Active Duty, National Guard and Reserves.
  • Works closely with an advisory board from the medical community to ensure that their curriculum, equipment and instruction are current.
  • Allows students to complete assignments on the go with its Blackboard Learn mobile app.
  • Gives online students live student support for technical or course questions.
  • Has campus locations in Florida as well as online learning programs.
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Specialization in Nursing Informatics (MSN)
  • Online bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, IT, Healthcare Management, Pscyhology & Public Health
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Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Platt College , Ontario
  • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
  • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
  • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
  • 3 campuses in Southern California.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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Degree - Diagnostic Medical Sonography
  • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
  • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1984.
  • Offers 22 accelerated, career-focused program options including business administration, medical assisting, and more.
  • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
  • 11 campuses across California, with an online division as well.
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Health Information Management (BS)
  • Offers several scholarship opportunities for students who qualify.
  • Laptop computers are issued to each student at the beginning of their program.
  • Provides programs in health care, business, information technology, and graphic arts.
  • Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
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Our family of non-profit colleges admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

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Master of Science in Health Informatics
  • Recognized as the largest university in the Chicago area, with 27,580 students and 15 colleges.
  • Listed as one of the top 200 research-funded institutions in the world, with more than $291 million research funds in FY 2013.
  • Proud to be a tobacco-free campus, prohibiting all forms of tobacco within campus boundaries.
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).
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