You may not be totally familiar with the role of radiologic technologist, but you’ll like what they do. The answer to “What is a radiologic technologist?” is this: a healthcare professional who performs medical imaging and other noninvasive therapies on patients.
It’s a growing field because of the need for imaging technologies – X-rays, CT scans, fluoroscopy, and many others, are making “exploratory surgery all but obsolete,” says the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA).
Ah, so now you know the most basic answer about “What a radiologic technologist is,” but you have other questions. Use this blog as a guide to the top 5 answers about whether or not this unique and expanding career choice is right for you.
Medical imaging is so advantageous to physicians that graduates of a radiologic technology degree program are vital members of a patient’s healthcare team. It’s the radiologic technologist – often called a rad tech – who figures out how to position a patient for the “inside views” physicians want to determine the cause of pain or evaluate the extent of injuries.
In an average week, a radiologic technologist’s day will vary. You might be called to perform imaging in a patient’s room using a portable X-ray. You might assist with C-arm imaging during a surgical procedure. You might use empathy and calming skills when performing imaging in a hospital’s emergency room. Radiologic technologists are sometimes among the first medical professionals a patient with a traumatic injury sees.
In summary, every day as a radiologic technologist is challenging, exciting, and, like rad tech Abby L. says, incredibly rewarding.
“I make the patients I see as comfortable as I can while doing their X-rays and make sure I am listening to them,” she says. “The other day, a patient told me that they appreciated my positive attitude. I hope always to make my patients feel that way.”
More than half of rad tech students interested in working with patients earn a two-year degree: The Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S) in Radiologic Technology.
In an A.A.S. program, students move quickly through the required general education courses, then advance into professional radiologic technology courses and labs. As students gain competencies, they are assigned real-world clinical experiences.
The applied part of the A.A.S. degree means the majority of the program focuses on the practical skills and knowledge necessary to be employed as a registered and certified radiologic technologist. Students achieve certification by passing a national competency exam.
Program coursework includes:
A radiologic technologist’s salary is higher than most healthcare support roles achieved in a two-year college program. According to the U.S. News/Money annual job rankings, being a rad tech is among the top-25 of healthcare support jobs.
A radiologic technologist’s salary can vary significantly due to demand and the imaging credentials earned. For a newly graduated radiologic technologist starting in the Midwestern U.S., the salary range is $43,827 to $48,000.
Meanwhile, an area’s demand for rad techs can drive salaries up by 20-30%. According to the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) salary report, California and Hawaii are the U.S. states with the highest median compensation per year.
In addition, many radiologic technologists earn additional certifications. These include MRI, computed tomography (CT), or sonography, which increases their employment options and salary potential.
For more about certifications, go here.
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, chiropractic and health science university in Overland Park, Kansas. Our A.A.S. in Radiologic Technology program was designed with the guidance of diagnostic imaging center professionals.
Students complete eight general education prerequisite courses, then spend 16 months receiving instruction in the classroom and clinical training settings. The CUKC program meets the educational requirements for national certification in radiography.
Other advantages of our radiologic technology degree program:
What other answers do you need for the question, “What is a radiologic technologist?” You can quickly get the information you want by requesting information here and going here for a free eBook: Your Complete Guide to a Career as a Radiologic Technologist.