With recession looming over our heads, we need to make some seriously wise career choices for the tough times ahead. Many would be pleased to know that in the field of healthcare, the jobs might be challenging, but the need for competent healthcare workers is endless, and the job openings still need to be filled.

X-ray technicians are the people we see in the laboratories who operate the x-ray machines. They wear lead aprons to protect themselves from the constant exposure to radiation. X-rays are used by doctors to diagnose patients with ailments, or look for anomalies in seemingly normal patients. With the use of an x-ray machine, doctors are able to see the bones and tissues of their patients, and verify whether the organs are normal or not. The x-ray machine is a powerful diagnostic tool, but it is also a machine that carries risks during use. Without proper protective equipment, x-ray technicians put themselves at great risk for cell injury, death and possible mutation. For this reason, pregnant women are not allowed to take x-ray exams unless the benefits truly outweigh the negative impact. Thankfully, pregnant clients have other diagnostic methods available to them. Female x-ray technicians however, should be careful when exposing themselves to radiation especially if they are expecting to be or are currently pregnant.

Life as an x-ray technician can be a fulfilling career. You never run out of personal growth as you will be charged to face patients on a daily bsis. Interpersonal interaction in this career is very high and x-ray technicians find themselves constantly challenged with making themselves well known to their patients. They are excellent communicators as they are the people who prepare their patients for the proper positions during the exam.

There is a high level of technicality involved in an x-ray technician’s career. They must not only know how to operate the x-ray machine, they must learn how to troubleshoot problems related to machine malfunction. Once the x-ray films are ready, they are able to interpret the basic test results, but the final say goes to the radiographer.

Enrolling in an x-ray technician program may take you years to finish, depending on the level of educational attainment you want. Some vocational schools offer one year programs where students get to learn the basics. The result of this program is usually a certificate. A 2 year program takes 2 years to accomplish and students are left with an associate’s degree. Four years in an educational program holds a lot of promises. You will earn your bachelor’s degree, have the possibility of sitting in administrative position someday, and be able to have a comfortable salary of more than $60,000 annually.

The basic educational requirement of x-ray technician schools is a high school diploma or equivalent. Students need to stock up on science and mathematics subjects as their course will be riddled with these types of subjects. During their education, they will be taught about the principles of radiology, anatomy and physiology, as well as learning how to operate the machinery involved.