Radiographers and radiologic technologists take x-rays and other diagnostic images of patients so doctors can diagnose and treat injuries and diseases. Radiologists can help uncover everything from cancerous tumors to broken bones. To become a radiographer, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that you need to complete an associate degree and become licensed in your state. A bachelor's degree program in radiography can expand your career opportunities and your earnings potential. Course work includes extensive training in the sciences, as well as the specific techniques used in radiologic imaging.
Anatomy and Physiology
As a radiographer, being able to identify the parts of the body is critical to the success of your work. If you don't know whether what you're looking at is a rib bone or a kidney, you're going to be in trouble. Courses in anatomy and physiology are among the first you will take in a bachelor's program in radiography. At the University of Hartford in Hartford, Connecticut, students must take Anatomy and Physiology I and II in their sophomore year. At Northern Illinois University, students are accepted into the program after having completed an associate degree, and they are expected to have completed a course in anatomy and physiology.
A bachelor's program in radiography is heavy in scientific education. Students may be required to take courses in chemistry, physics and biology in a radiography program. Students at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, New Jersey take Pathophysiology, while students at East Tennessee State University take General Chemistry and Introduction to Microbiology. The University of Hartford requires students to take Physics for Radiologic Technology. Requirements for each program vary, but students can expect to take a range of courses in the sciences.
Radiologic Science and Techniques
Degree programs in radiography include several courses that explore radiologic science and techniques. Students at East Tennessee State University take Radiographic Procedures, Foundations of Radiologic Technology, Radiographic Equipment, and Advanced Radiologic Imaging. Students at the University of Hartford take Image Production and Evaluation and Diagnostic Imaging. These courses teach students exactly how to take and read diagnostic images.
Most bachelor's degree programs in radiography include course work with hands-on training in imaging equipment. These courses may be completed on campus or credit may be given for externships in medical facilities. Students at East Tennessee University take five classes called Clinical Education, and students at the University of Hartford take six classes called Clinical Experience, as well as courses for MRI clinical experience. These courses are spread out over each year of study and build on students' skills.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: Radiologic Technologists
- Fairleigh Dickinson University: Degree Requirements - B.S. in Radiologic Technology (Students with an Associate Degree)
- East Tennessee State University: Radiography Program: Curriculum
- Northern Illinois University: Elgin Community College - AAS Radiography
Maria Magher has been working as a professional writer since 2001. She has worked as an ESL teacher, a freshman composition teacher and an education reporter, writing for regional newspapers and online publications. She has written about parenting for Pampers and other websites. She has a Master's degree in English and creative writing.