Do you realize employers of radiologic technologists are expecting a multitude of competencies in the specialized technology world of diagnostic medical imaging? That’s reason enough to evaluate which radiologic technology degree program to enroll in. Not all radiologic technology degrees teach the same things.
Remember: It’s a Profession That’s High-tech and High-touch
A basic description of a radiologic technologist – also known as radiographers – is their responsibility to set up and operate equipment and conduct tests using X-ray, CT, MRI, or other technologies to produce digital images of internal organs, bones, and tissues. As you might guess from this description, tech competence is a key talent, but so are the so-called soft skills necessary to establish a high level of trust with patients. Only teaching how the equipment works is not enough.
Rad techs must meet the precise scan requirements of physicians, so they must demonstrate empathy and possess excellent communication abilities. They must know how to ensure a patient is comfortable with imaging exams and willing to follow instructions for proper positioning.
That’s why students who excel in a radiologic technology career are those rare individuals who like interacting with patients almost as much as they like being experts operating innovative technology.
The importance of learning patient-care skills and technical competence with various types of imaging equipment is why prospective students must thoroughly review any radiologic technology degree program they’re considering. It’s also crucial that a rad tech degree program uses the same technology students will encounter after graduation.
Tech Tools to Expect in Your Radiologic Technology Degree Program
Human Body Replicas
Taking X-rays using full-body and sectional phantoms allow students to learn through experimentation. Assigned diagnostic images are reviewed, and instructors provide guidance and correction.
Demonstration X-ray Suites
Before entering the clinical environment, students train in body positioning techniques using non-energized equipment before working with live patients.
Functioning X-ray Equipment
Students need to know how to take X-rays properly. To demonstrate knowledge, students who have met competency standards will take X-rays on each other, guided by instructors with experience in the field.
Digital X-ray/C-Arm Equipment
Digital radiography is the gold standard for today’s diagnostic imaging facilities. To be competent in the field, students learn how to use today’s digital imaging technology, including C-arm units.
Radiologic technologists need to learn how to accommodate patients that cannot come to the imaging center. Students practice the set up of portable X-ray units for various patient scenarios.
Radiation Protective Equipment
Students learn how to manage radiation safely. Rad techs are responsible for procedures and practices that protect patients, other healthcare team members, and themselves from unnecessary radiation.
Another essential skill area is how to transport patients with limited physical abilities or challenges because of pre-existing medical conditions. In addition to practice moving patients to and from the X-ray table, students master the use of field-level equipment, such as wheelchairs, ER gurneys, and hospital beds.
The Wide-open World of the Rad Tech
The unique combination of talents needed by rad techs is why the healthcare world is showing such a big demand for radiologic technologists. According to CMEScience, the profession “plays a huge role in disease management…giving physicians more options, tools, and techniques for detection and treatment.”
According to an analysis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth rate for radiologic technologists is 9% now through 2028. That’s just a look at the near future. Rad techs are quickly finding work in an expanding healthcare landscape, including
The Radiologic Technology Degree Program at CUKC
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) — a nonprofit, private, health sciences university — offers an accelerated, Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S. degree) in Radiologic Technology. This accelerated two-year college degree uses eight-week courses that allow for deep understanding.
Our program’s goal is to prepare students for the national certifying exam as a radiographer. All CUKC instructors have experience working as a radiologic technologist. Classroom knowledge combines with hands-on training in the University’s on-campus demonstration suites and full-function radiologic equipment rooms.
After exhibiting tech- and patient-care competencies, CUKC students receive work assignments through our network of healthcare facilities in the greater Kansas City region.
For more information about the CUKC radiologic technology degree program, click here. To get details on the profession, request this 43-page eBook today: Your Complete Guide to a Career as a Radiologic Technologist.