Everyone loves the win-win solution, so why not take that concept and choose a win-win-win career? That’s what many radiologic technologists say about their careers. 1st win: when you become a radiologic technologist, you’ll be in charge of operating today’s medical imaging technology. 2nd win: you get to interact with people most of your day. 3rd win: you’re earning a competitive salary after only two years of college.
The job title may be a bit unfamiliar, but you already know what radiologic technologists do. Watch any medical series today, and you see them at the center of the action. Today, medical imaging is vitally important – it’s a more precise option than explorative surgery and other invasive procedures.
Commonly known as rad techs, radiologic technologists are the members of the healthcare team performing X-rays, MRI scans, and other medical imaging scanning technologies to help physicians find out what’s going on in the human body.
Become a radiologic technologist, and you’re producing the diagnostic images that help doctors know what kind of treatment is necessary and if there are multiple injuries, which they should handle first.
Imagine being the healthcare professional who’s helping detect if a patient has
Abby L., who completed her rad tech degree in 2020, says she found becoming a radiologic technologist appealing because it offers something new every day. As a rad tech, she faces various patient situations, from sickness to trauma, which allows her to sharpen her patient care skills continually.
“Most people, when they come to get an X-ray, aren’t crazy about the idea because they’re in pain – they just don’t want to get it done,” Abby says. “Being able to cheer them up a little bit while they’re getting a procedure done keeps me motivated.”
To read Abby’s story, check out her profile here.
When you become a radiologic technologist, you’re involved in practicing high-level patient care. That means interacting with patients of all ages, making sure they understand what will happen during the procedure, and answering questions, so they’re as comfortable as possible.
Often, a physician will send a trauma patient directly to the imaging suite, so the rad tech may be the first medical professional a patient sees. Before, during, and after the scan, radiologic technologists provide that calm, understanding voice a patient in pain or discomfort wants to hear.
Another primary responsibility of rad techs is to ensure the patient and other members of the patient’s team follow national safety standards for radiation from X-rays and other imaging equipment.
In addition to equipment set up and operation, rad techs monitor the patient and the healthcare team using the three principles for radiation safety: time, distance, and shielding. The guiding principle for imaging safety is called ALARA – meaning “as low as reasonably achievable.”
A radiologic technologist receives preliminary and professional coursework together in one degree program, usually from the same university.
The degree of choice for most rad techs working today is the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Radiologic Technology, which most students complete in two years. Because it’s an applied science degree, the vast majority of courses, labs, and experiences focus on the practical skills and knowledge you’ll use every day.
The required general education and prerequisite courses (including anatomy, science, math, and English) come first. From there, students advance into professional rad tech courses and extensive hands-on practice in on-campus labs, group learning, and individualized instruction.
Depending on the degree program and demonstrated competencies by the student, patient care experiences in area clinics and imaging centers can begin as early as the second semester.
That means in about two years, you’ll be ready to enter the workforce as a healthcare professional.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates the number of radiologic technologists needed in healthcare will increase 9% through 2030. Rad techs are employed by
A rad tech’s first-year salary often tops $45-$47,000 and can be more in high-need states. Experienced radiologic technologists can have a salary of above $59,000, according to the compensation reporting site Salary.com.
At Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC), you can complete our A.A.S. in Radiologic Technology degree in just two years. Located in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park, Kan., CUKC has been educating healthcare professionals since 1922.
The CUKC program puts an equal emphasis on patient interaction skills and technical competency. Most CUKC radiologic technology students start their patient care interaction as early as the second semester. Your instructors will have the first-hand experience to get you ready for the national certifying exam to become a registered radiologic technologist.
Other advantages of the radiologic technology program at CUKC:
The first step in learning how you can become a radiologic technologist? Request information today and get the free eBook: Your Complete Guide to a Career as a Radiologic Technologist.