UPDATED DEC. 22, 2020
If you’re technology-minded, great with people, and searching for a top-notch career, you should look into medical imaging. Healthcare teams include imaging professionals, and one of those roles is that of a radiologic technologist – a rad tech. To get into this fast-paced, personally rewarding career, look for a strong rad tech program.
The Rise of the Radiologic Technology Degree Program
Diagnostic imaging is a big boost to healthcare effectiveness and patient safety. Imaging technologies reduce the need for surgeries and are also used in conjunction with new types of minimally invasive surgery.
To meet the demand for radiologic technologists (an expected 7% increase from 2019 to 2029), interested students are turning to two-year radiologic technology degree programs. About 63% of rad tech grads have a two-year Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S) degree, according to a survey by ONet’s comprehensive database of worker competencies.
Finding a career direction is a very good thing, yet someone considering a rad tech career has to answer this key question: “How do I spot a high-quality rad tech program?”
Four Key Indicators of a Top Radiologic Technology Program:
1. The Rad tech program aligns with ARRT standards
Classes and equipment training align with the standards set by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Together with highly qualified instructors, ARRT-alignment tells you the program prepares its students well for the national certifying examination given by the ARRT.
More than 75% of U.S. states require a state license before working as a radiologic technologist. Most states use ARRT exam scores and credentials for licensing decisions.
2. Instructors have diversified field experiences
A good indicator of rad tech program quality is the depth of expertise its instructors have.
And while total years of experience is great, also expect the degree program’s instructors to have diversified backgrounds in different imaging settings. Diagnostic imaging occurs in hospital emergency rooms, rehab centers, outpatient care centers, and doctor’s offices.
3. The radiologic technology program goes beyond textbook scenarios
In the field of radiologic technology, perfect conditions for imaging are a rarity. Situations you’ll encounter after entering the rad tech workforce include
4. The program scope helps ensure career-long success
Some imaging educational programs are technician programs, not full-spectrum radiologic technology programs. Training for radiologic technicians, for example, may only be for specific equipment, not the principles and reasons underlying the technology. Unlike a radiologic technologist, a radiologic technician is not allowed to perform certain imaging procedures.
Becoming a registered radiologic technologist means having the ability to meet changes in protocols, patient-care expectations, and advances in imaging technology.
A radiologic technology program leading to designation as a radiographer (R) also serves as a base from where you can pursue additional certifications, such as Mammography (M), Radiation Therapy (T), and Computed Tomography (CT).
Check Out the Rad Tech Life
Of course, any decision to become a rad tech is a personal one. For more reasons to consider this career path, check out the list in this “9 reasons” blog.
As you’ll see, there’s more to like about the rad tech life than a median yearly salary of $60,510, from the daily variety in assignments to the contributions you’re making to better healthcare delivery.
The Radiologic Technology Program at CUKC
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, healthcare-focused university located in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park, Kansas.
Rad tech program students at CUKC earn their Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Radiologic Technology degree in a two-year format. The program’s eight-week courses deliver deep understanding. Students receive hands-on training and gain experience in the University’s on-campus radiologic equipment rooms, two demonstration suites, and clinical experience in partner clinics in the greater Kansas City area.
CUKC welcomes new classes of students into the rad tech program in spring and fall. Students who satisfy prerequisite coursework at CUKC and all other standards receive preferred admission to the CUKC radiologic technology program. See the program’s degree requirements for more details.
Get answers to your rad tech program questions by connecting with a CUKC advisor today. You’ll also like the information about rad tech education and careers in this new, free eBook: Your Complete Guide to a Career as a Radiologic Technologist.