If you’re intrigued with a career in diagnostic medical imaging, you’re an ideal candidate to become a radiologic technologist – a rad tech. What you’ll be doing in this top-tier healthcare career can be summarized by the acronym GAIMER. Now’s the time to see all you can do in this healthcare profession!
Become a Radiologic Technologist in 2 Years
That’s right. You can become a diagnostic medical imaging professional – a radiologic technologist – by earning an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree – two years of college, and you’re ready to enter the rad tech workforce.
When you become a radiologic technologist, you’re in a top-15 healthcare support job, according to the latest U.S. News ranking of occupations. Beyond simple pictures, today’s diagnostic imaging shows the detailed microscopic structures, allowing physicians to visualize the biological effects of diseases at a molecular level.
What is it you’ll be doing? There’s a lot to it, and an excellent way to cover it all is to think “GAIMER” skills. Here’s what GAIMER means, letter by letter, in terms of the skills and knowledge you’ll acquire.
The GAIMER Skills of a Rad Tech
G = Good With Patient Care
Rad techs are sometimes one of the first members of a healthcare team a patient encounters, especially in emergency room situations. That’s why employers want rad techs with well-developed people skills: communicate clearly with patients of all ages, explain procedures in easy-to-understand terms, and show patience and kindness. Not all rad tech degree programs include an emphasis on “soft skills,” such as teamwork, time management, and being able to adapt to fast-changing scenarios.
A = Advanced Anatomy Knowledge
Rad techs must have a comprehensive knowledge of the human body to obtain the precise images a physician wants. That’s why in-depth knowledge in human anatomy and physiology is part of the rad tech education.
Imagine being a specialist who helps reveal conditions such as
I = Imaging Methods
Getting the “inside story” of what’s happing requires the rad tech to position the patient in specific ways. A radiologic technologist understands which imaging method is best. Options include the traditional X-ray and also fluoroscopy, which is like an X-ray movie, showing a part of the body in motion on a monitor.
M = Member of a Healthcare Team
Much like a doctor or nurse, a radiologic technologist is a member of the patient’s healthcare team and is responsible for all aspects of imaging. A physician may consult a rad tech while assessing what the imaging indicates.
Diagnostic imaging has practically replaced explorative surgery and other invasive diagnostic procedures. Radiologic technologists work in hospitals, diagnostic clinics, physician group practices, mobile imaging facilities, and surgery centers.
E = Expert in Imaging Equipment
It’s important to note that radiologic technologists learn the history, principles, and strategies of medical imaging. Radiologic technicians have limited imaging knowledge and have not earned a degree. Rad techs set up, use, and monitor stationary diagnostic equipment, portable imaging units, and C-arm technology.
R = Radiation Use and Safety
Radiologic technologists ensure patient and staff safety when using equipment emitting radiation. They are responsible for ensuring the radiologic equipment is operating correctly and adhering to “as low as reasonably achievable” (ALARA) principles.
Radiologic Technologist: Career Outlook
Decide to become a radiologic technologist, and you’re on the way to an in-demand career that will challenge you every day…and into the future.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the career outlook for radiologic technologists will increase by 9% through 2028. Newly certified rad techs typically find salaries range from $43,000 to $45,000 per year.
Surveys of working rad techs from the data site Salary.com show that experience and additional certifications lead to higher salaries. The average salary is more than $55,000 per year.
Part of this excellent career outlook is because rad techs work is so many places within the healthcare industry. Here’s a breakout of work settings:
Reasons to Become a Radiologic Technologist at CUKC
CUKC is a nonprofit, private, student-focused university specializing in degrees in the health sciences.
In the radiologic technology program at Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC), students typically receive their Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Radiologic Technology degree in two years.
CUKC’s degree program is accelerated, offering focused 8-week evening courses for a comprehensive learning experience. The program also meets the educational eligibility requirements for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) Radiography Examination to become a registered technologist.
In addition to our instructors having real-life experience teaching the skills employers expect, students have on-campus access to full-functioning radiologic equipment rooms and demonstration suites. Clinical experience comes through assignments in partner clinics in the greater Kansas City area and surrounding communities.
New rad tech classes start in the fall and spring of each year.
How to become a radiologic technologist with complete GAIMER skills? Start by requesting information here and downloading this free eBook: Your Complete Guide to a Career as a Radiologic Technologist.