Careers in Radiology
In order to work in a Radiology Department as a Radiologic Technologist taking x-rays, you must first attend a specialized school. This training will include human anatomy and physiology, radiation physics, disease process, medical terminology, and, finally, radiographic positioning.
During these classes, you will also go into a hospital setting and begin hands-on training. This part of your training is one-on-one with a registered technologist who will help you transition what you learn in class to actual patient care.
After your graduation from x-ray school, you will have to pass a test administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists to receive your certification. Finally, you are ready to go to work!
Once you gain some experience as a Radiographer, you will have the opportunity to specialize your training by learning one of the other modalities in Radiology. Angiography, Computed Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and Ultrasound can all be attained through on-the-job training. There are specialized schools for Nuclear Medicine, and Radiation Therapy as well as Ultrasound where you can obtain certification in those areas.
You can also climb the career ladder by obtaining your Bachelor's degree, which will allow you to work as a Manager in any of these areas. A Master's degree is typically required to move on into a Director's position or higher.
Although becoming a Radiologic Technologist requires specialized training, there are many other people in Radiology necessary to make this department run smoothly.
A Transcriptionist is the person that will listen to the Radiologist's dictation and type the result for the patient's chart. Transcription can be learned either on-the-job or by attending school where you will learn human anatomy, medical terminology, and pharmaceutical terminology. The transcriptionist works very closely with the Radiologist in getting accurate results on a patient's examinations.
Radiology Assistants have a vital role of helping all personnel in the department. Escorting the patient to and from their room, either by wheelchair or stretcher, is their first role. The patient's care is in their hands for that trip down to Radiology. The Assistants also stock the examination rooms, file reports, order procedures on the computer system, and answer phone calls or questions from the patients or visitors. The Radiology Assistant is the Ambassador for our department.
There are several schools in the Birmingham area that teach Radiology. Jefferson State Community College and Wallace State Community College offer a two-year degree program