How to Become an X-Ray Technician in Canada

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X-ray technicians, or medical radiation technologists (MRTs), are specialists in diagnostic imaging and radiation therapy treatments. Radiological (X-ray) technologists are trained in a number of specialties, including plain film (X-ray) technology; mammography; computerized tomography (CT scans); angiographies (heart and blood-flow monitoring), and fluoroscopy (real-time images depicting movement). MRTs are regulated by the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists and by provincial registering/licensing bodies. Diagnostic imaging technology is evolving quickly and becoming more prevalent in health care facilities, therefore the need for MRTs is also increasing.

Things You'll Need

  • Post-secondary education
  • Accreditation with the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists
  • Registration with a governing association or college (varies by province)
  • Decide your specialization. Specializations can be in one or more of the following four disciplines: general radiography, magnetic resonance imaging, nuclear medicine and radiation therapy.

  • Complete a medical radiation technology (MRT) program from an accredited education provider.

    Both university degree and college diploma programs are accepted. (See Resource 2 for a list of CAMRT accredited providers.)

    Course topics usually include anatomy, patient care, equipment protocols and setup, patient positioning, clinical protocols, examination techniques, and radiation protection.

  • Write and pass the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists examination. The exam is offered three times a year, usually in January, May and September. As of June 2010, the cost to write the exam was $800 CAD.

    Prep guides and practice exams are available on the CAMRT website (see Resources 3).

  • Register with an appropriate association or college (if applicable in your province).

    Alberta--Alberta College of Medical Diagnostic & Therapeutic Technologists (ACMDTT)

    British Columbia--British Columbia Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (BCAMRT)

    Manitoba--Manitoba Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (MAMRT)

    New Brunswick--New Brunswick Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (NBAMRT)

    Newfoundland and Labrador--Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (NAMRT)

    Nova Scotia--Nova Scotia Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (NSAMRT)

    Ontario--College of Medical Radiation Technologists of Ontario (CMRTO)/Ordre des technologues en radiation médicale de l'Ontario (OTRMO)

    Prince Edward Island--Prince Edward Island Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (PEIAMRT)

    Quebec--Ordre des Technologues en Radiologie du Québec

    Saskatchewan--Saskatchewan Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (SAMRT)

Tips & Warnings

  • Most radiological examinations involve exposure to low levels of radiation. Technologists can wear protective coverings or stand behind barriers to avoid radiation exposure.

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References

  • Photo Credit x ray doc image by JASON WINTER from Fotolia.com
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