Radiology technicians assist doctors in diagnosis and treatments that utilize radiation. They are chiefly involved with x-ray technology – taking x-ray films, maintaining and adjusting x-ray equipment, preparing patients for x-rays, and so on. Though being a radiology technician is a well paid and fairly versatile field in itself, some people would rather branch out and diversify, including some other types of work in their skill set and as part of their daily activity. So the question as to whether there are cross trainings available in radiology technician training arises.
The answer to this question is that there are indeed cross trainings in radiology technology. In fact, many degrees in the field include instruction in other imaging modalities and health care areas in general. This is the case with both Associate (two year) and Bachelor level degrees, but Bachelor’s degrees tend to be some of the more wide ranging and varied programs. In general it’s more appropriate to say as regards post secondary education in radiology technology, cross trainings are the rule rather than the exception.
To clarify from another angle – the main stipulation in most states regarding eligibility to become employed as a radiology technician is either licensing or certification (these are often direct correlates). The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) gives a national exam that many states use as criteria for licensing. However, in order even to be eligible to take the exam, an individual has to have completed an educational program that the ARRT deems acceptable. The program needs to include both class or theoretical work and clinical experience in radiologic technology. However, beyond this there is quite a bit of latitude as to what courses can include. The hands on experience in the use, maintenance, and safety of x-ray machines is a practical matter that can usually be arranged as an adjunct to academic instruction in the field that varies in depth and scope.
As an example, let’s look at a few degrees offered by the Belmont University, an institution of higher learning in Nashville, TN that is known for its outstanding radiology technician training. They offer a number of degrees that can be used either as background for being a radiology technician or for many other types of fields.
A simple Bachelor’s degree with a physics major (i.e. a B.S. or B.A. in physics) from Belmont university enables a student to be employed as a radiology technician as well as in many other technical fields. The portion of the curriculum that deals with radiation physics goes considerably deeper than many radiology technology programs into the background knowledge necessary for successful employment in this field. And if someone wanted to branch out to other technical fields that would be a possibility as well. The simple practical instruction in the use of x-ray imaging could be added on after the degree was completed, and this would most likely be more than acceptable to the ARRT. In addition, this broad based Bachelor’s degree allows an individual to move on to graduate and post graduate study that can lead to many different types of career paths.
Another option at Belmont is a Bachelor of Science with a major in Engineering Physics. Similar to the case above, this degree enables a student to become involved in a variety of technical fields including radiology technology. Again this would have to be supplemented with clinical/practical instruction, but it is such a thorough degree that it would easily satisfy ARRT or other state requirements.
Belmont’s Bachelor of Science with a medical physics major is designed for students who would like to prepare, in their words, for “graduate careers in nuclear medicine, radiation oncology, and diagnostic radiology.” True, this implies that the course of study is only a foundation for a subsequent graduate degree, but again, even more so than in the above cases, someone could use this degree in conjunction with the fulfillment of practical instruction and experience to pass certification exams in a number of different medical imaging or other fields.
Even more on target are Bachelor’s degrees in medical imaging offered at numerous accredited colleges and universities. These degrees often cover x-ray imagine, CT (Computed Tomography) scans, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) technology, and ultrasound all in the same program.
So as you can see there are numerous cross trainings available in radiology technician training. The question is not so much whether such programs are available, but choosing from among a plethora of programs that offer a wide variety of options from an educational standpoint. Student’s wishing to combine being a radiology technician with other related fields should begin by getting a clear sense of exactly which other fields interest them, and then seek programs that offer instruction in the combined set of fields. There are many fine programs, but a prospective technician needs to be clear on his or her goals in order to get the best sense of focus.