If you’re wondering how to get into radiology school, first you must decide what area of radiology you want to work in. You could become a radiologist, which requires a premedical bachelor’s degree and an extensive doctoral program with a specialization in radiology as well as a residency program. If this academic path sounds like too much for you, you could also become a radiologic nurse, radiologist assistant or radiologic technologist. The educational requirements for these three important professions will be discussed in this article.
A radiologic technologist assists the radiologist in the operation of radiographic equipment in order to produce images of the inside of patients’ bodies, explains the procedures to patients and helps the patients get into the correct position on the examination table. Radiologic technologists may specialize in CT, MRI, ultrasound or x-ray technology, although some also have skills in multiple areas. You will need to get a high school diploma and apply to a vocational school, community college or traditional university. Most radiologic technologist jobs only require an associate’s degree, but a bachelor’s will certainly increase your career options.
Radiologist assistants are higher-level radiologic technologists who are more involved in examinations, evaluations and management of patients. In this field you will have more responsibility in tasks such as judging the quality of images and making observations. You will need a bachelor’s degree for this job, so you will need to keep your GPA up in any high school or community college courses you take and focus on subjects such as math and science. For management positions, you may also consider a master’s degree. You will need to complete an internship and get certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists as well.
You will also need a bachelor’s degree to become a radiological nurse. This job centers more on the entire care of the patient, including the emotional, mental and physical needs of the patients who are being tested or treated using radiologic equipment. Many nurses begin in pre-nursing programs at community colleges before going into a BSN program, and others start out in a traditional four-year university where they complete the Bachelor of Science in Nursing and prepare for the required licensing exams.