OK, so a medical imaging degree isn’t something you’ve heard many people talking about. When you dig a little, this healthcare support role truly fits what you want: a respected profession, rewarding work, competitive salary, and job skills that will always be in demand.
Radiologic technologists, often known as rad techs, are those who earn certifications to perform one or more medical imaging exams, including
With imaging technologies, physicians can identify injuries, conditions, and diseases more accurately, especially in the early stages. Imaging is also important for conditions that may not display serious physical symptoms.
How do you know the medical imaging sector of healthcare is on the rise? You check around to see what employment agencies and other credible sources are saying.
Supplemental Health Care, one of the nation’s largest healthcare staffing providers, reports, “Radiologic technologists (those with a medical imaging degree) play an important role in patient care…Thanks to rad tech knowledge and skills, patients can receive intervention, treatments, diagnoses, and much more.”
Indeed.com, which includes listings from major job boards, newspapers, associations, and company career pages, typically shows more than 10 web pages of jobs for medical imaging positions in the Midwest alone. Opportunities for those with medical imaging degrees range from hospitals to urgent care centers to physician groups.
Overall, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a healthy 6% growth from 2021 to 2031.
You might ask if using rad techs in healthcare is a trend that can continue, and that’s a fair question. Beyond the benefits of allowing patients to avoid riskier invasive procedures, medical imaging is proving to help lower healthcare costs.
One Harvard Medical School study shows that every $1 spent on in-patient imaging results in about $3 in total savings and can decrease a patient’s hospital stay by one day.
A medical imaging degree sets you on a course to be a specialist on a physician’s healthcare team. A radiologic technologist is responsible for:
Physicians may send patients directly to imaging in some scenarios – such as for traumatic injuries. Radiologic technologists may find themselves providing comfort, offering encouragement, and seeking to reduce anxiety about procedures that may be uncomfortable or unfamiliar. That’s why the profession is often described as “high-tech” and “high-touch.”
Brenda B. earned a medical imaging degree (A.A.S. in Radiologic Technology) in 2020. She says she knew that as a rad tech, she could make a difference in people’s lives, despite having a mostly arts and science background in college.
“I knew that meant hard work, and I would reap the benefits,” Brenda says. “You have to allow yourself to be open to coaching, feedback, and constructive criticism. The clinical rotations are rigorous. All these things helped me to improve and succeed in my skills.
Think about a radiologic technology program as having two parts that are integrated into a two-year schedule:
After satisfying required coursework like communications and health science terminology, rad tech students are involved in professional radiologic technology courses and labs. After passing competency reviews, students gain first-hand experience in real-world clinical environments.
Previous basic science and math courses will help you get a good start in a medical imaging degree program. Equally significant is a determination to succeed, the willingness to meet with instructors if needed, and maximizing study and practice time. (Read more about Radiologic Technology coursework in this blog.)
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, chiropractic and health sciences university in Overland Park, Kansas. Our medical imaging degree is the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Radiologic Technology. Most of our students complete their degrees in about two years.
The CUKC program provides the educational curriculum to apply for national certification in radiography, the most often selected certification pathway for radiologic technologists. After graduating, many rad techs choose to earn other certifications, from CT to MRI to Mammography.
Attractive features of our 2-year A.A.S. in radiography degree include:
When you’re ready to earn your medical imaging degree, becoming a radiologic technologist is worth exploring. To learn more about the A.A.S. degree and the rad tech career, connect with a CUKC advisor today. You’ll also want this free eBook: Your Complete Guide to Becoming a Radiologic Technologist.