The best radiologic technologist degree not only gets you up to speed on the equipment you’ll be operating but also teaches you soft skills that make you a star in patient-provider relationships. When evaluating radiologic technology programs, these five skill areas are critically important to career success in the highly competitive, in-demand rad tech field.
The 5 “How to’s” of Radiologic Technology
1. How to interact with all types and ages of patients
In today’s health care world, rad tech “patient care interaction skills” are essential because patient satisfaction reports are a major influence on compensation.
That means a radiologic technologist degree must include coursework emphasizing the ability to explain imaging procedures clearly to patients. Many patients have never undergone high-tech medical imaging before, they will range from the very young to senior adults, and come from various cultures and socio-economic backgrounds. An adaptable communication style and relationship-building talents make new rad techs highly valuable.
2. How to meet all requirements for patient care
Knowing how to treat patients well is one thing, but a radiologic technologist degree covers a wide array of skills that take time to perfect.
Patients coming in for imaging will have vastly different body sizes, and some may have a disability. Because accurate imaging is critical for physicians, it’s necessary to have experience in positioning patients with precision and adjusting equipment controls to match. Different physicians may want their imaging completed in a certain way, so highly respected Radiologic technologist programs go beyond the textbook solutions by reinforcing critical thinking skills. This ensures students can execute specific “scan” requests.
3. How to understand the human body
It’s no surprise that full knowledge of human body, its systems, and its processes is a must for those studying for a radiologic technologist degree. Having some courses in biology, anatomy, and physiology before beginning a university-level rad tech program can help you get off to a good start.
Radiologic technologist programs will require you know muscular, skeletal, respiratory and skin systems, plus organ and system names, their locations and their specific functions. Because imaging can affect the human body, it’s important to know about diseases and conditions that exist before imaging takes place.
4. How to ensure safety for you and the patient
Radiologic Technologists are the gatekeepers to imaging safety. That’s why much instruction will be dedicated to radiation safety and patient safety techniques. Understanding the principles of exposure time, distance and shielding – and the equipment that provides protection – will ensure a safe environment for patients and the rad tech.
Radiologic technologist programs put rad techs at the forefront of knowing when examinations are clinically appropriate and when risks outweigh potential benefits.
5. How to apply patient care in real-world settings
Many radiologic technologist degree options put experience with patients at the end of the program. Radiologic technologist programs developed by those with actual working experience will put patient care into the curriculum as early as the second semester.
This emphasis ensures students are ready to contribute as soon as they enter an internship or an actual clinical setting, and not just standing around asking questions.
Discover the CUKC Radiologic Technologist Program
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, health-focused university located in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of more than 190,000 within the Kansas City metro area. CUKC offers an accelerated, two-year Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Radiologic Technology degree that features focused, eight-week evening courses designed for deep understanding. Students receive hands-on training and gain experience in the University’s own radiologic equipment rooms, two demonstration suites, and by clinical experiences in partner clinics throughout the Kansas City area.
Get more information about the CUKC radiologic technologist degree and the profession with a free ebook: Your Complete Guide to a Career as a Radiologic Technologist.