You wouldn’t want to miss a wide-open opportunity if it led to a career you could point to with pride, right? One career that fits that definition is radiologic technologist. Unfamiliar with it? It means becoming an expert using diagnostic X-ray technologies. People who become a radiologic technologists like their unique role: working as a technical expert on a team and interacting with people.
The career guidance site owlguru.com gives radiologic technologists 4 stars for salary, 4 stars for job growth, and 4 stars for job satisfaction. The annual U.S. News & World Report jobs ranking puts radiologic technologists in the top 25 list of healthcare support positions. The profession also gets a good rating because it’s reachable with a 2-year college degree: the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Radiologic Technology.
Now you know why you’d want to become a radiologic technologist. Still, you want to know what they do and see how well the job role fits your talents and ambition.
Radiologic Technologists – an insider’s term is “rad tech” – provide the interior body images medical communities need for accurate, efficient diagnosis and treatment.
The most common certification for a new radiologic technologist is radiography. Simply put, radiography is the art and science of using radiation to produce detailed images of the tissues, organs, bones, and vessels that comprise the human body. Physicians use these images to diagnose conditions and diseases.
One radiologic technology program director says those who become radiologic technologists are “experts in ‘diagnosing’ the image, determining if the image quality is optimal.”
“The goal is to produce an image where the physician can see what they need to see for the best patient outcome,” he says. “If a rad tech is not skilled, it is possible to obscure the pathology so the physician cannot make a proper diagnosis.”
With advances in medical imaging happening so rapidly, it’s no surprise the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts hiring for those with a radiologic technology degree will outpace the national average for most careers over the next decade.
The ongoing growth for rad techs is because of three trends:
Another bright spot is the expanding use of medical imaging. More than half of those who become radiologic technologists work in hospitals. Others find employment in diagnostic clinics, physician group practices, mobile imaging facilities, and surgery centers.
Having a radiologic technology degree is more than an entry into a growing healthcare support field. It also opens the door to learning imaging procedures and policies in an array of technologies, including
In a typical A.A.S. in Radiologic Technology program, students complete about 24 hours of required and prerequisite classes that prepare them for success. These foundational courses include English, communication techniques, psychology, anatomy, and physiology (learning how the human body functions).
Because of the unique A.A.S. degree setup, the remaining classes, labs, and experiences help rad tech students master the practical skills and abilities they’ll use when in the rad tech workforce.
Rad tech degree programs accomplish this by combining patient care best practices with hands-on skills. This is achieved by students using anatomically correct body replicas and having access to on-campus demonstration units and energized imaging suites using technologies used by employers.
As students achieve competencies, they advance to supervised clinical assignments within their university’s network of healthcare facilities.
What’s it like to be a radiologic technologist? Check out Abby’s comments on her rad tech career!
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, chiropractic and health sciences university in Overland Park, Kansas. CUKC offers a two-year Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Radiologic Technology degree.
Attractive features of our radiography degree program:
To learn more about how you can become a radiologic technologist, download this free eBook: Your Complete Guide to a Career as a Radiologic Technologist.