Are you wondering if you would make a good x-ray technician? Although it is helpful to have some natural talent (such as a general aptitude for math and science) a lot of the skills you need will be covered in your studies. As long as you have a willingness to learn and the drive to dedicate yourself to school, you can graduate with all the qualities you need to succeed as a radiologic technologist.
Stamina and Strength
You might not have considered this point, but it is very important! Radiologic technologists often have to work on their feet for long periods of time. You will constantly be walking back and forth from the room in which you take images you the room with the equipment. You will move around as you get patients from their bed or the waiting room and bring them to where you will take the images. You will also have to have enough strength to assist patients in moving or getting on the x-ray table if they need it. If you currently aren’t very strong or don’t have much stamina, don’t worry. Especially if you are at the beginning of your studies and are just starting to go to school, you have plenty of time! You can easily develop both of these qualities in yourself just by visiting the gym on a regular basis. If you start now, by the time you graduate you won’t think twice about staying on your feet for eight or so hours at a time.
It is imperative that you understand how to operate complex machinery. The equipment that takes the x-rays is very complicated and has many parts that work together. You need to know exactly how the equipment works so you can accurately take images. You will learn everything that you need to know about the equipment during your time in school. Through classes like radiography, positioning, radiographic imaging and specialty procedures, and your clinical externship, you will learn about how to operate the equipment. Of course, the exact names of your classes will vary depending on where you go to school, but you can rest assured knowing you will have all the expertise you need upon graduation.
One of the complex machines you will need to know how to operate is the computer! With all the technological advancements in the last decade or so, a lot of the imaging you will do will take place in front of the computer. You will need to know how to operate different software for taking the images, reviewing them, sending them to radiologists for review, and taking notes about the images. You will also have to keep detailed patient notes, which will most likely be done on the computer. You may have some classes in school directly related to imaging software, but you might also take a general information technology or computer literacy course. Through a combination of these studies, you will be prepared to use any computer put in front of you once you find a job in your field.