Imagine being in a career sector that gets you excited about going to work every day. Having a work routine that’s never the same day-to-day. Using equipment and technology that’s on the leading edge of innovation. Interacting with patients of all ages and having those patients appreciate the care and compassion you show them in their time of need. Diagnostic medical imaging fits that career description, and the path into that field is the radiologic technology degree.
The Vital Role of the Radiologic Technologist
Working in a medical imaging environment offers new challenges daily. Each patient situation demands different combinations of their skills. In earning a radiologic technology degree, you learn all about operating and monitoring various equipment, of course.
You’ll also have classes focusing on the extremely important soft skills – communicating, empathetic listening, etc. Being proficient in these skills is essential in today’s patient-focused healthcare. In fact, a high-level radiologic technology degree program weaves AIDET communication principles throughout its teaching. Examples include:
How You’ll Make a Difference as a Rad Tech
Let’s say you’re working in a hospital’s ER department. Radiologic technologists may be one of the first healthcare professionals a patient encounters. A physician will sometimes send the patient directly to imaging to determine the source and extent of pain or injury.
Patients with traumatic injuries are often in pain or discomfort. Rad techs must do their job while also showing empathy with patients and helping them be as comfortable as possible. Rad techs can reduce a patient’s anxiety by explaining the diagnostic imaging that’s about to occur and the next steps in the healthcare process.
Another aspect of a radiologic technology degree education is advising the medical team in imaging scenarios. As the imaging expert, the radiologic technologist might recognize that an ordering physician is requesting an image that duplicates one the patient recently had or may not provide the results the physician desires.
At the same time, radiologic technologists are responsible for setting up the equipment, ranging from stationary or portable X-ray stations to C-Arm units. Rad techs make adjustments, monitor radiation safety levels for the patient and team, and ensure patients are in the right position.
A “Difference Maker” Career in Two Years
For most rad techs, the usual path to their career is a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree in Radiologic Technology.
In this 75 college-hour degree plan, there are 24 prerequisites (preliminary) classes. Students then move into 51 college hours of professional coursework and lab experiences. After competency evaluations, students receive work-as-you-learn assignments in area healthcare facilities.
Where rad techs can work also is good news. Because imaging is non-invasive and highly accurate, you’ll find radiologic technologists are in-demand across the healthcare sector:
Together with the satisfaction of making a difference, earning a radiologic technology degree in as little as two years through the A.A.S. degree launches you into a career with a bright future.
The annual U.S. News job ranking places radiologic technologists in the top-15 of healthcare support occupations. A Salary.com survey of working rad techs reports a starting salary range of $45,000 or more. The national average salary range from $50,302 to $63,547.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in October 2020, the job outlook for radiologic technologists is 7% from 2019 to 2029, higher than the average for all occupations.
The Radiologic Technology Degree Program at CUKC
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) — a nonprofit, private, healthcare sciences university — offers an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S. degree) in Radiologic Technology. This evening-based degree uses eight-week courses that allow for deep understanding.
Our program prepares students for the national certifying exam as a radiographer. All CUKC instructors have experience working in the radiologic technology profession. Classroom knowledge combines with extensive 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 in the Kansas City region and surrounding communities.
Other advantages of earning your rad tech degree at CUKC:
For more information about the CUKC radiologic technology degree program, click here. You can also receive this free eBook today: Your Complete Guide to a Career as a Radiologic Technologist.