Everyone’s looking for the inside story on things. Why not see how you can become a radiologic technologist in two years? Actually, the “inside story” term is very appropriate–this healthcare occupation involves seeing inside the human body to reveal what’s behind different symptoms and conditions. Who’s doing this essential diagnostic imaging work? Those who decide to earn a degree in radiologic technology.
A registered radiologic technologist – often referred to as a rad tech–is a healthcare professional certified and registered to perform diagnostic imaging examinations.
Physicians use the imaging exams performed by rad techs to diagnose diseases or conditions accurately. They do this by using specialized equipment to get an inside view of the human body without invading it. The detailed images are via X-ray, computed tomography (CT), and other high-tech scanning technologies.
What do radiologic technologists do? They are responsible for correctly positioning patients to obtain the imaging results physicians need, calculate and set the imaging exposure, and monitor safety procedures for the patient and members of the healthcare team. They also review patient records, verify identification, and ensure an ordered exam isn’t duplicating one the patient may have had previously.
Employers also want rad techs who interact well with patients. Why is that important? Sometimes, such as in a trauma situation, physicians send patients directly to imaging. So, while rad techs indeed serve a vital technical role, they also find themselves providing comfort, offering encouragement, and seeking to reduce anxiety about procedures that may be uncomfortable or unfamiliar.
You’re wise to seek out a career that offers an appropriate work/life balance, matches your talents, and delivers good pay compared to the time in school.
So, if using technology and people skills fits your way of thinking, it may be your time to become a radiologic technologist. A radiologic technology degree program is a superb fit for someone who’s looking to
Employment statistics point out that a two-year A.A.S. degree is a popular path to become radiologic technologists, especially those who want to focus on direct patient care. A report by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) says more than 51.7% of rad techs in the workforce today chose the A.A.S. degree.
For example, in a typical A.A.S. in Radiologic Technology program, students complete about 24 hours of required and prerequisite classes that prepare them for success. These foundational courses include English, communication techniques, psychology, anatomy, and physiology (learning how the human body functions).
Finally, the remaining classes, labs, and experiences focus on practical skills and abilities to be used when in the rad tech workforce. Students learn imaging concepts and procedures, perform hands-on skills practice using anatomically correct body replicas, and practice on equipment replicating the equipment used by employers.
Plus, when students achieve certain competency levels, they are assigned clinical experiences at work sites associated with the program. (That’s a good reason to choose a degree program in an urban location, as you’ll want as many choices as possible.) Some rad tech programs specifically arrange evening clinical shifts, allowing students to attend classes during the day.
“My rad tech program was accelerated, 16 months,” says Abigail L., who received her A.A.S. degree in 2020. “I liked that my class sizes were small. You definitely get a lot of one-on-one help. Being in a clinical setting for 10 months and getting hands-on experience before graduation helped tremendously. Now I get to take the X-rays that help diagnose ill or injured patients that get them the help they need.”
An August 2021 article in MoneyTalkNews points out that rad techs are included in its list of “High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree.” The article notes that rad techs overall earn above the U.S. median wage of $56,310 per year.
A newly certified radiologic technologist in the Midwest can anticipate an average yearly compensation between $43,827-48,000, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Meanwhile, the need for radiologic technologists is anticipated to grow at 9% through 2030, nearly double the average for all occupations.
Employment options include:
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, healthcare-focused university in Overland Park, Kansas.
Our two-year A.A.S. degree in Radiologic Technology program was designed with the guidance of imaging center professionals. Instructors have real-life experience doing the imaging work they’re teaching. By achieving specific competencies, you can be involved in this specialized patient care/technical expertise role as early as the third semester.
Our program places an equal emphasis on patient interaction skills – the soft skills needed today – and technical competency.
The CUKC program prepares students to meet the educational requirements needed to take the national exam to be registered and certified radiologic technologists.
Our radiologic technology program also features: