UPDATED MAY 15, 2020
In digging into the options for an in-demand healthcare career with a solid income, any search will point to the “Rad Tech” degree from a radiologic technologist school. For those who like technology but also want to work directly with people, becoming a rad tech makes a lot of sense. It’ll be up to you to make a good choice from the many places offering different types of radiologic technologist degree programs.
Before deciding on a Radiologic Technologist school, ask these four questions:
1. Is it the type of program you must coordinate?
Because of the growing demand for medical imaging professionals, some places are hurrying to patch together radiologic technology programs by joining with another organization. Certain coursework is delivered at one location, while laboratory facilities are somewhere else. Training areas and clinical time with patients may be at a third location.
This can result in delays and extra tuition expenses because no single “adviser” is guiding the entire Rad Tech program experience. An intensive degree program like Rad Tech should be integrated from start to finish, and coordinated by someone who knows how to ensure consistent progress towards graduation.
2. Is it a four-year path to a two-year degree?
In its most efficient format, a Radiologic Technologist program takes 75 credit hours – two years of coursework resulting in an Associate of Applied Sciences degree (A.A.S.) or equivalent.
Some places will fold their rad tech coursework into a traditional four-year degree plan. While earning a bachelor’s degree is often a good idea when planning on management or teaching roles, it’s not necessary for employment in this field. What do employers want to see? Certification by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (AART).
3. Are some of the essential “high touch” courses taught in isolation?
Online courses have come a long way and continue to evolve, however, core courses that are crucial for a radiologic technology professional are often best when offered in a live classroom setting. Can you imagine learning proper patient positioning from a series of slides? Hands-on experience with guided instruction and the benefits of group discussion can help students quickly grasp concepts in core program classes.
Online and hybrid prerequisite classes are reasonable options when the content is strong, and they’re an even better option when offered by the same school that you will enroll in for your core rad tech classes. Your best option, though, is when those basic courses are offered online by the radiologic technologist school that will enroll you in a rad tech degree program.
Look for a radiologic technology program that emphasizes in-person instruction, has multiple equipment rooms on-site, and features the same technology as is expected in a real-world setting.
4. Does the program require “gen ed” coursework first?
The rad tech degree will first require completion of general education coursework. If the program is not from a university, the healthcare facility must have a partnership agreement with an accredited university or college. This “gen ed” coursework must either be completed before actual rad tech study can begin or taken while also devoting class time to radiologic technology.
The better option is a comprehensive, all-in-one radiologic technology program at a health sciences university, one that results in an associate’s degree and includes preparation for the national exam offered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technology (ARRT) to become a registered and certified technologist. That’s what today’s diagnostic imaging employers will want to see.
Radiologic Technologist School: the CUKC Difference
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, healthcare-focused university in Overland Park, Kansas. At CUKC, students can complete their Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Radiologic Technology degree in as little as two years.
In the CUKC radiologic technology program, focused eight-week evening courses are designed for deep understanding. Students receive hands-on training and gain experience in the University’s on-site radiologic equipment rooms, two demonstration suites, and clinical experience in partner clinics in the Kansas City region.
Want to know more about CUKC’s radiologic technologist school? Request more information today and be sure to get your free eBook to see what a rad tech career is like: Your Complete Guide to a Career as a Radiologic Technologist. Career.