Telling someone you’re a radiologic technologist sometimes results in a puzzled look that says, “What is that job all about?” The pivotal role these medical imaging professionals have in delivering high-quality patient care sometimes goes unknown and under-appreciated.
Because this week is National Radiologic Technology Week, it’s time to get to know why radiologic technologists (often known as rad techs) are in demand for healthcare facilities of all types:
7 Fast Facts About Radiologic Technologists (Rad Techs)
1. There’s a Big Future
There are more than 300,000 radiologic technologists certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. The medical imaging profession is set to grow at 12% between 2018 and 2028, a rate nearly twice that as the average for all occupations.
2. Comprehensive 2-Year Degree
More than 63% of radiologic technologists choose the two-year Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S. degree) as their college degree choice, according to the source O.Net Online.
The A.A.S. degree coursework provides detailed knowledge of the human body’s structure, systems, and processes, plus organ locations and functions. Previous success in classes centering on biology, anatomy, and physiology is a good predictor of success in a university-level rad tech program.
3. Caring for People, Doing High Tech
In trauma scenarios, Radiologic technologists are sometimes the patient’s first contact with a healthcare practitioner, so having excellent patient care interaction skills are as essential as having a knack for technology.
Rad techs must establish a trusting relationship with the patient. Doing that requires a versatile communication style and a friendly attitude. These attributes help rad techs to work effectively with people of all ages and from different cultures and socio-economic backgrounds.
4. A Career with Room to Grow
Medical imaging roles offer a long-time career. The credentialing organization American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) lists five areas as the primary pathways to becoming a radiologic technologist:
5. Essential to the Healthcare Team
Radiologic technologists are the gatekeepers to imaging safety. Healthcare teams look to the radiologic technologist to determine the exposure time, distance, and body position for the desired imaging results, and to ensure safe radiation levels for patients.
6. This Career Makes a Difference
The medical imaging profession is helping to make healthcare less expensive. A research report from Harvard Medical School shows that every $385 spent on imaging resources reduced hospital stays by one day.
Medical imaging is quickly replacing exploratory surgeries and other invasive techniques because imaging is typically safer and delivers better information to the physician.
7. Pay Range, Career Flexibility
Salary.com puts the average salary for experienced radiologic technologists at $55,449 – even higher in states where the demand is higher. The career source owlguru.com gives the profession an overall “A” rating, noting the pay scale, the ability to earn a two-year degree, and for a “high growth” career forecast.
The A.A.S. in Radiologic Technology at CUKC
The journey toward becoming a radiologic technologist can happen for you at CUKC. Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, healthcare-focused university located in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of the Kansas City metro.
Feedback from medical imaging professionals guides our A.A.S. degree in Radiologic Technology program. Instructors have real-life experience doing the imaging work they are teaching. In the spirit of this “high touch and high tech” occupation, there’s an equal emphasis on patient interaction skills and technical competency.
Our radiologic technology program also features:
For more details on becoming a radiologic technologist, get your free ebook: Your Complete Guide to a Career as a Radiologic Technologist!