A radiologic technologist is a healthcare professional who works in an advanced futuristic medical environment. Other titles for a radiological technologist include Medical Imaging Technologist and Radiographer.
Duties of a radio-technologist involve performing numerous types of crucial medical imaging procedures such as X-ray scans, computed tomography (CT) scans, and MRI magnetic resonance imaging scans. These experts are also specialized in more advanced imaging techniques like cardio-vascular interventional radiography, bone densitometry, nuclear medicine, and mammography.
Employment for radiologic technologists is growing; it is expected to grow by 9% from 2018-28 that’s faster than all occupations’ average. And, here we will explore some important things about online courses one needs to complete for this profession.
Core Job Functions
A rad-tech works closely with radiologists to take images of patients and also determine the suitability of those for diagnostic purposes. The core of their job is in building a therapeutic physician-patient relationship that forms the heart and art of the medicine. A radiographer has a lot on shoulders because a patient going under an imaging procedure or a scan is likely to be nervous and panicky. Therefore, a radiographer has to develop a soft skill relation with the patient who is suffering from pain or any physical or support trauma. A radiological technologist has to be the one who lightens up the mood in the room, comforting a patient to get accurate results. It also includes safeguarding the patient from radioactive emissions.
Steps to Become a Technologist in Radiography
- Pass High School: High school or equivalent education is required to pursue a radiological technologist course. If you have aimed to enter this field earlier, you must pay particular attention to mathematics and science subjects. And, if you get a chance to experience the medical care surrounding during your high school, you should volunteer for it.
- Complete an Accredited Undergraduate Radiologic Technology Program: A rad-tech could either have a bachelor’s or an associate’s degree for professional eligibility. Completing a 2-4 year program makes you eligible for ARRT.
- Pass the ARRT Certification: To maximize the employment possibility and establish your expertise vastly, you need to ARRT certified.
General Structure of an Online Radiology Course
Anyone who wants to get qualified to work as a radiological technologist should opt fora four-year bachelor’s degree or an associate degree in Radiology. It is also seen that many of the students are more interested in learning through online courses. Most of the rad-techs have an associate’s degree as it improves their earning potential, area of expertise by allowing learning while working with on-field experience. All this sums up to land the best job opportunities with a handsome paycheque to you. There are lists of online courses for radiography and radiologic technology distance learning and simulation with virtual medical coaching to choose from though subjects will be almost similar in all.
- Human Anatomy: In this, the basics of the human body and shape are discussed. It covers a vast area of knowledge regarding the skeletal, cardiovascular, muscular, and male and female reproductive systems.
- Radiology Theory: It is the study of the theory of how machines work, the correct ways of reading a scan test, and scanning hidden parts. It also includes diagnosing diseases and clients.
- Radiological ClinicalDecision Making: It focuses on determining the appropriate clinical examination for a patient. For this, you learn following proper guidelines and practice drug interactions.
- Pathophysiology: It associates with the study of the convergence between pathology and physiology. Under this subject, you learn about diseases and injuries.
- Patient Positioning and Patient Safety: The most vital part of the study and the job also. This subject ensures you learn how to achieve the best results alongside the top-notch safety of a patient.
Courses and programs available
As stated earlier, a student has three different roads to go for becoming a radiologic technologist:
- 20-24 months certificate program
- Associate degree of 2 years
- Bachelor degree of 4 years
Alongside this, many of the courses now need a candidate to have passed specific medical and coding office courses. It is gaining traction because of the job profile being a high tech one in the healthcare industry.
Before choosing a program or course for a radiology career, you must verify the affiliation of an online institute from which you are going to pursue your study. It needs to be accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) or American Registry of Radiologic Technologist (ARRT). These are the official organization handling accreditations for Radiological technologist courses and programs.
Certificate Program: The programs offer an unmatched option to the others if you are having an experience and understanding of radiological technologists. They will help you develop your mastery over a specialty, increasing your potential and grades. It is best to procure a Certificate program via online courses that will be available at many congregations’ colleges.
Associate Degree: Most of the healthcare workers in the radiology department are associate degree holders who are earning their clover life from it. An associate degree comes with load work more than any other equivalent level program and involves routine lab work classes and practical. The subjects are often one or more extra than any other program to make students capable of extra credits. Accredited and private colleges offer an associate degree in radiological technologists.
Bachelor’s Degree: If you want to be a radiologist, then a bachelor’s degree is a must. Several prestigious institutions offer the same. A bachelor’s degree is divided into two parts; one is the theory that you complete in an institute for two years. The other one involves practical experience, is completed in a hospital or a clinic, and lasts for two years. Rad-techs who want to gain advanced expertise should opt for a bachelor’s degree.
Radiologic Technologist Certification & Licensing
It is a significant step towards being a professional, and it requires you to gain a certification from the ARRT. For this, you have to complete and pass the examination held by ARRT within three years of completing your degree.
Choosing a Speciality
In this field, there are productive areas in which technologists can specialize to ensure a fruitful career ahead. For specialization, a Radiologic Technologist should complete additional coursework and must focus on the desired specialty. Options include sonography, nuclear medicine, magnetic resonance imaging, quality assurance, computerized tomography, and radiation therapy.
Thus, completing the right course and the desired specialization followed by licensing is required to become a quality radiology technologist.