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Q&A - X Ray Tech Degrees

Are there any books that I can read to help me decide if an x ray tech degree is right for me?

The Dangers of Medical Radiation by Olive Peart explores the ironic connection between radiation’s ability to detect cancer and its own cancer-causing properties. This book is essential reading for both traditional students and those interested in pursuing radiology degrees online, as it discusses the most dangerous aspect of the job.

How to Land a Top-Paying X-Ray Technicians Job: Your Complete Guide to Opportunities, Resumes and Cover Letters, Interviews, Salaries, Promotions, What to Expect from Recruiters and More by Lori Dodson is an ideal book for new graduates seeking their first job, or established technicians looking for better opportunities. It includes practice sessions designed to prepare you for interviews.

Jessica’s X-Ray by Pat Zonta, an x ray technologist, is an excellent book for x ray techs who may find themselves working with children. It tells the story of a girl who has broken her arm and shares a look at actual x rays, CT scans, MRIs and ultrasound images from the perspective of a child. Real x ray images are printed on Mylar to show children what x rays look like.

X-Ray: See Through the World Around You by Nick Veasey is a unique art book that captures the true power of an x-ray image. Using security scanners and x ray machines, Veasey creates beautiful images that reveal the intricacy of everyday objects, animals and plants, giving prospective students a new appreciation of how x rays can be used.

Health Care USA: Understanding Its Organization and Delivery, Seventh Edition by Harry A. Sultz and Kristina M. Young discusses the organization of the U.S. healthcare system and the issues that it faces. This book provides crucial information on the state of the industry to help you decide if becoming an x ray tech is the right career move for you.

What are some online resources that will give me ideas about how to use a degree in x ray tech?

The American Society of Radiologic Technologists seeks to advance the medical imaging and radiation therapy profession and enhance the quality of patient care. It contains a section specifically for students pursuing a radiology degree, including study tools and a membership application.

The Association of Vascular and Interventional Radiographers advocates for x ray technicians who have specialized in vascular and interventional radiology. Members can keep current on new licensing requirements and up-to-date on procedures as well as network with other interventional technologists.

The Association of University Radiologists exists to advance the interests of academic radiology, stimulate interest in academic radiology as a career and advance radiological science, research and education. They offer a student membership for those enrolled in accredited radiology degree programs.

Mountain Imaging is the blog of a real-life radiologic technologist documenting his journey from student to working professional. In particular, students pursuing online radiology degrees, lacking the support system of a traditional program, may find his story a worthwhile read.

On a different note, Steven N. Meyers is an artist who trained as a radiological technologist and worked in the field for over 30 years. He combined his knowledge of x ray tech with his love of black and white photography to create x ray photographs of flowers.

What organizations accredit on-campus and online x ray tech degree programs?

One of the main accrediting body for x ray tech degrees is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). It accredits programs in radiography, radiation therapy, magnetic resonance and medical dosimetry. JRCERT is the only agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education that accredits both traditional and online radiology degree programs. Accredited programs that award the best degree in radiology can be found using a simple search tool on JRCERT’s website.

However, programs can also be approved by agencies acceptable to the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). These agencies include regional institutional accrediting agencies and specialized accrediting agencies such as the JRCERT.

There are a number of radiology colleges offering strictly online advanced certificates and bachelors degrees that are accredited by JRCERT. If you are looking for a top online radiology degree, consider the Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences, which is a private, nonprofit college and part of a world-renowned hospital system.

It offers an online Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences that allows working radiologic technologists to learn the technical, medical and people skills necessary to continue their professional growth. Technical schools and community colleges across the country also provide x ray tech programs that meet JRCERT’s standards.

Is a degree in x ray tech recession proof?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the field is expected to grow by 28% between 2010 and 2020, faster than average. Though hospitals will remain the main employer of x ray techs, many new jobs will be in physicians’ offices and imaging centers. Employment in these settings is expected to increase because of the shift toward outpatient care, which is encouraged by third-party payers to cut costs. Technological advances, such as less expensive equipment, also allow for more procedures to be done outside of hospitals.

A 2009 study conducted for the U.S. Department of Education concluded that students in online programs performed better than those receiving traditional instruction. While some employers may still hold a bias against online degrees, evidence supports the idea that students who have received their radiology degree online should fare just as well in the job market as their traditional counterparts.