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How to Prepare for a Career in Radiology

1) To become a radiologist, prepare while in high school by taking chemistry, physics, communications, and computer courses. Volunteering or paid employment within a health care facility, nursing home, or hospital may assist in future college program acceptance.

2) An undergraduate degree in radiological science or a health care related field guarantees future educational and career goals. Specializing undergraduate studies within an accredited Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology within a traditional college or online bachelor degree program focusing on core courses in chemistry, health care administration, ethics, communications, information technology, biology, psychology, radiographic procedures, methods of patient care, anatomy and physiology, radiation physics, radiation protection, principles of imaging, and radiation exposure.

3. Upon successful completion of a bachelor degree program, students can advance studies into a graduate program. Specializing education and gaining work experience through an internship program consisting of course work in ethics of patient care, computer technology, anatomy and pharmacology, interventional procedures, radiobiology, pathophysiology, health care administration, followed by a clinical internship under the supervision of a qualified radiologist, completes the graduate degree process. In addition, most facilities prefer voluntary certification or accreditation through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.

4. Students who complete graduate degree programs can gain employment as radiologists at various health care facilities or advance to doctoral degree programs. Most doctoral degree programs train individuals to be leading researchers, professors, or experts in the field of radiology. Doctoral degree programs involve intensive course studies in radio, a publishable dissertation, and clinical residency experience. Courses in anatomy and physiology, infectious disease, patient care, and an in-depth study of theories, tools, and techniques of radiological studies. Students in doctoral degree programs are highly trained to utilize computed tomography, xrays, MRI and fMRI, and flouroscopy to investigate, diagnose, and treat patients with radioactive medicines and equipment.

5. Students who successfully complete radiology training programs generally voluntarily certify through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). The ARRT administers licensing examinations to test student knowledge in the field of radiology. The ARRT certifies graduates who meet three criteria measuring compliance with ARRT rules and regulations, standards of ethics, and annual continuing education requirements.

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