Radiographer training requires learning to perform diagnostic medical imaging examinations that include X-rays. These are interpreted by physicians to diagnose or rule out disease or injury and provide a course of treatment.
Training begins with basic foundational courses in radiologic science, followed by hands-on training and internships. A radiographer must learn basic medical terminology and core curriculum radiologic science. Classes include anatomy, equipment protocols, examination techniques, radiation safety and protection, and basic patient care.
Graduates must pass a radiologic technologists exam in order to be certified. Specific classes that are taken in preparation include positioning, principles of exposure, radiographic biology and pathology. Schools such as the Pima Medical Institute offer radiography programs and additional classes that include study skills, math applications, anatomy and physiology, physics, and medical law and ethics. Students earn an associate degree in radiography in about two years.
All programs in radiology include hands-on training and internships that enable a student to apply classroom knowledge to real life job requirements. Students practice operating X-ray and radiologic equipment, learn how to obtain quality images and administer the correct amount of radiation using standard protocols, and learn how to explain the procedures to patients.
Radiographers are in demand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the 2015 job outlook for radiographers is favorable, and employment is expected to be on the rise, increasing about 21 percent nationwide through 2222, a rate faster than that of most other occupations.