To become an x-ray technician, a student must receive a combination
of academic learning and hands-on training to achieve certification
and enter the workforce prepared to deal with real patients.
While every x-ray
technician program is slightly different, students should
seek out programs that offer these essential components.
Human anatomy is the class that anyone who wants to work
in the medical field needs to take. In human anatomy, students
learn names for every part of the body from all 206 bones
in the human skeleton to the glands that make up the endocrine
system. They also learn how the body’s organs function
together to perform tasks like digestion and red blood cell
A class in basic medical terminology teaches the names of
various medical conditions, as well as the common roots, prefixes,
and suffixes used in naming ailments. It’s important
for an x-ray technician to have a working knowledge of medical
terminology to be able to communicate with doctors and nurses
in clinical settings.
One of the most important aspects of working as an x-ray
technician is knowing how to position patients on the x-ray
table. Improper positioning results in useless x-rays and
may also cause a patient unnecessary pain. Learning how to
maneuver people who have injuries and a lack of mobility is
A radiologic technology class teaches future x-ray technicians
how to operate x-ray equipment and develop film. Most x-ray
technician programs include several radiologic technology
classes that begin with basic principles and become progressively
A patient care course will give an x-ray technician a more
well-rounded idea of what a patient needs during a hospital
stay. At minimum, x-ray technicians must understand how patients
in the radiography department should be cared for in terms
of comfort and administering medication. They must also know
how to handle patients in serious conditions and what all
those tubes are really for.
Pathology courses help to familiarize x-ray technicians with
various diseases and their affects on the human body. In pathology
classes, they also learn how to take x-rays specifically for
the diagnostic purpose of assessing disease symptoms.
Every day, x-ray technicians must protect themselves from
the radiation x-ray machines emit. A radiation protection
course will teach students about what radiation is, why radiation
is harmful, and how to properly use protective gear. Radiation
protection classes also teach students how to minimize a patient’s
exposure to radiation during the x-ray process.
Toward the end of an x-ray technician program, a student
will be placed in a hospital or clinic setting under the supervision
of certified radiographers. During clinical education, they
practice what they’ve learned with real patients so
that when they graduate, they may begin working immediately
as fully qualified professionals in the field.
If this sounds like something you might be interested in
pursuing, find out more about how you can become a certified
x-ray technician. Check out the X-Ray
Technician Schools directory today!