One of the most satisfying parts of earning a radiologic technology degree – also known as a diagnostic imaging degree – is interacting with patients. Sometimes, a radiologic technologist (a rad tech, for short) is the first healthcare professional a patient will encounter. To ensure a successful patient experience, it’s essential to know how to communicate confidently and personally with all patients.
Not All Radiologic Technology Degrees are Equal
You might hear about X-ray technician training, but remember, a technician has not attended a rad tech program or received any formal training. They receive on the job training and typically do not understand the science and concepts behind diagnostic imaging.
The Radiologic Technologist
When you graduate with a two-year A.A.S. in Radiologic Technology degree, you’re a radiologic technologist who’s ready to set-up, operate, and maintain the wide range of equipment you’ll find among hospitals and imaging centers across the nation.
You will be able to operate stand-alone imaging technology plus portable imaging that must be set up in a patient’s room or C-arm technology. You will be able to explain the benefits of what you’re doing and why, and the standards of radiation safety protocols in place. You will be able to make vital adjustments to the equipment without having to get instructions from someone else more qualified.
Why Patient Interaction Classes are Essential
A well-designed rad tech degree program will have patient interaction best practices built into the class structure. Radiologic technology degree programs should include patient-care instruction in every phase of the program, and include specific classes in working with:
In a review of the rad tech role in the annual U.S.News jobs rankings, Myke Kudlas, the chief academic officer of the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT), said “We are often working with people who are scared, experiencing pain, and sometimes lacking support. Making sure they feel comfortable is essential to the patient experience.”
Examples of Patient Interaction Coursework
In your research into radiologic technology degree programs, one way to ensure you’ll receive the strong patient interaction skills diagnostic imaging employers are looking for is to ask if the program covers communication behaviors symbolized by the acronym AIDET.
These initials refer to:
A = Acknowledge
Greeting the patient by name, making friendly eye contact, and acknowledging family or friends who accompany the patient.
I = Introduce
Clearly introduce yourself, saying your name, and mentioning your professional certification, and experience
D = Duration
Take the time to outline how long the imaging may last, how they will hear the results and likely next steps.
E = Explanation
Explain what you’ll be doing and why, and answer questions before you begin. Let the patient know how to contact someone if you have to leave the area.
T = Thank You
Thank patients and those who accompany them for choosing your hospital or imaging center. Express your appreciation for their patience and cooperation in a trying experience.
How the Benefits of AIDET Help You Become a Patient-First Professional
Using the AIDET framework, radiologic technology degree programs can help launch the standards that allow the entire healthcare team to meet and exceed the level of care patients expect. With AIDET principles woven into the rad tech curriculum, rad techs assist with
The 2-year Radiologic Technology Degree at Cleveland University-Kansas City
CUKC is a private, nonprofit, university in the award-winning Kansas City suburb of Overland Park, Kan. CUKC offers an accelerated, Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Radiologic Technology degree – precisely the type of degree you’d expect from a university specializing in healthcare education. For nearly 100 years, we’ve been on a mission to create a healthier world.
Graduates of the CUKC program meet the educational requirements for certification in Radiography as outlined by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Included in our degree is a series of patient interaction courses following AIDET principles. Most students complete our radiologic technology program in as little as two years. Salary.com puts the average annual salary for rad techs between $46,000 and $56,000, depending on geographic location.
As a CUKC rad tech student, you will find:
Request more information about our radiologic technology degree today. You can learn more about the role of radiologic technologists in this new, free eBook: Your Complete Guide to a Career as a Radiologic Technologist.