Everything You Need To Know About Cross Training

Anyone who has gone through the training and certification to become a x-ray technician should be aware that they can move into another field fairly easily. It may be a matter of simply taking a few additional classes or being trained on different types of machines. There are numerous fields that allow a lateral or upward move for x-ray technicians. The essential matter of obtaining the proper training basics and certification is taken care of with a Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree. Once this happens it is possible to move into CT (computer tomography), Mammography, MRI(Magnetic Resonance Imaging), Interventional Radiology, Fluoroscopy, Angiography, Cardiology Interventional Radiology and Bone Densitometry.

Each different form of a x-ray technician’s job is one that requires a few additional training classes and then a certification in that particular specialty. Each additional specialty is a form of insurance in the employment department. The more skills a person has the more likely they are to be hired when the other x-ray technician jobs are filled. In the realm of healthcare employers, human resource directors are more likely to choose the x-ray technician that has numerous usable skills.

Computer Tomography(CT)

This position requires x-ray technicians to attend additional training in the use and procedures of CT scanning. This type of scanning involves injecting fluid into the patient’s body. The fluid allows contrasting colors to show up on the scan and result in a clearer picture that is more accurate. The machine that is used requires a tube and ring set of scanners that rotate around the patient’s body. These are called cross-sectional x-rays. This computer generated x-ray is referred to as tomography. It is a result of both the s-ray process and a computer algorithm. This requires special training that is not involved in regular a x-ray technician’s degree.


This type of work requires a few extra classes but not a significant amount of additional class work. Used in the early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer. This low-radiation x-ray allows lumps or cysts to be found up to two entire years before they would ever be felt. Thus reducing the life-threatening possibilities and being able to catch cancerous tumors early on.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

This specialty requires a great deal of additional training once the x-ray technician completes their degree. An MRI machine does not rely on radiation but upon radio waves and magnetic fields. This employs an entirely separate set of procedures and safety issues that must be learned. Conditions that MRIs are normally used to search for are illnesses such as neurological disease, cardiovascular disease, oncological and musculoskeletal disorders.

Interventional Radiology

Interventional radiology utilizes all three types of x-ray and specialty training of MRIs, x-rays and ultrasound . All of these are used in conjunction together to perform such procedures as thrombolysis, angioplasty, and possible brain aneurysms or blood vessel embolism.


This imaging technique involves injecting a patient with a radio-contrast fluid like iodine or barium. Patients are then placed between a florescent screen and a x-ray machine. Then a special video camera and machine that intensifies the x-ray images records bodily functions as they happen. This is not the still photographs taken by the average x-ray. Training on these machines requires additional hours in the clinic and classroom.

Angiography and Cardiology Interventional Radiology

The x-ray procedure, Angiogram, involves blocking out the images of the bones and being able to focus solely on the blood vessels at work. This training is similar to others that involve using injected materials to better view the x-ray involved. Cardiology Interventional Radiology is the process of performing examination procedures via x-ray technology while procedures such as Angiograms or fluoroscopy are performed. This allows doctors to eliminate the need for surgery. Special training is needed to perform these tasks and assist doctors.

Bone Densitrometry

DXA, or duel energy x-ray absorptiometry, is a special type of x-ray that measures the mineral density of the patient’s bones. This helps medical professionals to determine the amount of bone loss for patient’s suffering from Osteoporosis.

Every specialty requires additional training. Just how much training depends upon the exact specialty that a person wants to pursue. The importance of attending extra training and certification is the ability to attain a job more easily.