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Career Information

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Radiologic Technologists are imaging science professionals that have completed accredited educational programs. Columbus State offers Radiography and Nuclear Medicine. Radiation Therapy and Sonography programs are available at other locations and may be located at www.arrt.org.

To view an introductory video on Radiologic technology, produced by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists and video on careers in Radiologic Technology from the ASRT Click here;

http://www.asrt.org/main/careers/careers-in-radiologic-technology/career-videos

Radiographer

Occupational Description

Radiographers use imaging equipment to provide patient services as prescribed by physicians. When providing patient services, radiographers continually strive to provide quality patient care and are particularly concerned with limiting radiation exposure to patients, themselves, and others. Radiographers utilize problem solving and critical thinking skills to perform medical imaging procedures by adapting variable technical parameters of the procedure to the condition of the patient and by initiating life support procedures as necessary during medical emergencies.

Job Description

Professional competence requires that radiographers apply knowledge of anatomy, physiology, positioning, radiographic technique, and radiation biology and protection in the performance of their responsibilities. They must be able to communicate effectively with patients, other health professionals, and the public. Additional duties may include evaluating radiologic equipment, conducting a radiographic quality assurance program, providing patient education, and managing a medical imaging department. The radiographer must display compassion, competence, and concern in meeting the special needs of the patient.

Employment Characteristics

Radiographers are employed in health care facilities-including specialized imaging centers, urgent care clinics, and private physicians' offices-and as educators or imaging department administrators. Salaries and benefits are generally competitive with other health professions, and vary according to experience and employment location.

Educational Programs

Programs are generally 2 to 4 years in length, depending on program design, objectives, and the degree or certificate awarded. The curriculum of an accredited program includes an extensive component of technical and professional courses, including an emphasis on structured competency-based clinical education. Interested individuals should contact a particular pro- gram for information on specific courses and prerequisites.

Inquiries

  • Accreditation/Accredited Programs. Requests for information on radiography educational program accreditation, including requests for a list of accredited programs, should be submitted to:

    Joint Review Committee on Education in
    Radiologic Technology
    20 N Wacker Dr/Ste 2850
    Chicago, 60606-2901
    ph. (312) 704-5300
  • Careers/Curriculum

    American Society of Radiologic Technologists
    15000 Central Ave SE
    Albuquerque, NM 87123
    ph. (505) 298-4500
  • Certification/Registration

    American Registry of Radiologic Technologists
    1255 Northland Dr
    Mendota Heights, MN 55120

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Radiation Therapist

Occupational Description

Radiation therapists deliver radiation to patients for therapeutic purposes. Radiation therapists provide for appropriate patient care and safety; apply problem-solving and critical thinking skills in the administration of prescribed treatment protocols, tumor localization, and dosimetry; and maintain pertinent records. Radiation therapists are particularly concerned with the principles of radiation protection for the patient, themselves, and others while performing these responsibilities.

Job Description

Professional competence requires that radiation therapists apply knowledge of anatomy and physiology, oncologic pathology, radiation biology, radiation oncology techniques, treatment planning procedures,  and dosimetry in the performance of their duties. They must also communicate effectively with patients, health professionals, and the public. The radiation therapist accepts responsibility for administering a radiation oncologist (physician)-prescribed course of radiation therapy, observing the patient during treatment, and maintaining pertinent records of treatment. Radiation therapists also evaluate and assess treatment delivery components, evaluate and assess the daily physiologic and psychologic responsiveness of the patient, and promote total quality care for patients undergoing radiation therapy. Additional duties may include tumor localization, dosimetry, patient follow-up, and patient education. Radiation therapists must display competence, compassion, and concern in meeting the special needs of the oncology patient.

Employment Characteristics

Radiation therapists are employed in health care facilities, including cancer centers and private offices; they are also employed in settings where their responsibilities focus on education, management, research, and sales. Salaries and benefits vary with experience and employment location, but are generally competitive with other health specialties.

Educational Programs

Programs may be 1,2, or 4 years in length, depending on program design, objectives, and the degree or certificate awarded. The curriculum of an accredited program includes an extensive component of technical and professional courses, including an emphasis on structured, competency-based clinical education. Interested individuals should contact a particular program for information on specific courses and prerequisites.

Inquiries

  • Accreditation/Accredited Programs. Requests for information on radiation therapy educational program accreditation, including requests for a list of accredited programs, should be submitted to:

    Joint Review Committee on Education in
    Radiologic Technology
    20 N Wacker Dr/Ste 900
    Chicago, 60606-2901
    ph. (312) 704-5300
  • Careers/Curriculum

    American Society of Radiologic Technologists
    15000 Central Ave SE
    Albuquerque, NM 87123 505 298-4500
  • Certification/Registration

    American Registry of Radiologic Technologists
    1255 Northland Dr
    Mendota Heights, MN 55120

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Nuclear Medicine Technologist

Occupational Description

Nuclear medicine is the medical specialty that uses the nuclear properties of radioactive and stable nuclides to make diagnostic evaluations of the anatomic or physiologic conditions of the body and to provide therapy with unsealed radioactive sources. The skills of the nuclear medicine technologist complement those of the nuclear medicine physician and of other professionals in the field.

Job Description

Nuclear medicine technologists perform a number of tasks in the areas of patient care, technical skills, and administration. When caring for patients, they acquire adequate knowledge of the patients' medical histories to understand and relate to their illnesses and pending diagnostic procedures for therapy, instruct patients before and during procedures, evaluate the satisfactory preparation of patients before commencing a procedure, and recognize emergency patient conditions, and initiate life-saving first aid when appropriate.

Nuclear medicine technologists apply their knowledge of radiation physics and safety regulations to limit radiation exposure, prepare and administer radiopharmaceuticals, use radiation detection devices and other kinds of laboratory equipment that measure the quantity and distribution of radionuclides deposited in the patient or in a patient specimen, perform in-vivo and in-vitro diagnostic procedures, use quality control techniques as part of a quality assurance program covering all procedures and products in the laboratory, and participate in research activities.

Administrative functions may include supervising other nuclear medicine technologists, students, laboratory assistants, and other personnel; participating in procuring supplies and equipment; documenting laboratory operations; participating in departmental inspections conducted by various licensing, regulatory, and accrediting agencies; and participating in scheduling patient examinations.

Employment Characteristics

The employment outlook in nuclear medicine technology is good. Opportunities may be found in major medical centers, smaller hospitals, and independent imaging centers. Opportunities also are available for obtaining positions in clinical research, education, and administration. Salaries vary depending on the employer and geographic location.

According to a 1994 survey of 1,514 nuclear medicine technologists by the Society of Nuclear Medicine, 32% earned between $31,000 and $40,000 per year, 27% earned between $40,000 and $49,000, and 26% earned $50,000 or more.

Educational Programs

  • Length. The professional portion of the programs is 1 year. Institutions offering accredited programs may provide an integrated educational sequence leading to an associate or baccalaureate degree over a period of 2 or 4 years.
  • Prerequisites. Applicants for admission must have graduated from high school or the equivalent and have acquired postsecondary competencies in human anatomy and physiology, physics, mathematics, medical terminology, oral and written communications, chemistry, and medical ethics.
  • Curriculum: The curriculum includes patient care, nuclear physics, instrumentation and statistics, health physics, biochemistry, immunology, radiopharmacology, administration, radiation biology, clinical nuclear medicine, radionuclide therapy, and introduction to computer application.
  • Standards Essentials are minimum educational standards adopted by the collaborating organizations. Each new program is assessed in accordance with the Essentials, and accredited programs are periodically re- viewed to determine whether they remain in substantial compliance. The Essentials and Guidelines are available on written re- quest from the Division of Allied Health Education and Accreditation.

Inquiries

  • Accreditation: Requests for information on program accreditation, including the Essentials, preparing the self-study report, and arranging a site visit, should be submitted to:

    Executive Director |
    Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology
    One 2nd Ave East/Ste C
    PoIson, MT 59860-2320
    Ph. (406) 883-0003
    e-mail: jrcnmt@ptinet.net
  • Careers/Curriculum

    American Society of Radiologic Technologists
    15000 Central Ave SE
    Albuquerque, NM 87123

    Society of Nuclear Medicine- Technologist Section
    1850 Samuel Morse Dr
    Reston VA 22090-5316
    ph (703) 708-9000
  • Certification/Registration

    Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board
    2970 Clairmont Rd NE/Ste 610
    Atlanta, GA 30329-1634
    Ph (404)315-1739

    American Registry of Radiologic Technologists
    1255 Northland Dr
    Mendota Heights, MN 55120

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Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Occupational Description

The diagnostic medical sonographer provides patient services using medical ultrasound under the supervision of a physician responsible for the use and interpretation of ultrasound procedures. The sonographer assists the physician in gathering sonographic data necessary to diagnose a variety of conditions and diseases.

Job Description

The sonographer provides patient services in a variety of medical settings in which the physician is responsible for the use and interpretation of ultrasound procedures. In assisting physicians in gathering sonographic data, the diagnostic medical sonographer is able to obtain, review, and integrate pertinent patient history and supporting clinical data to facilitate optimum diagnostic results; perform appropriate procedures and record anatomical, pathological, and/or physiological data for interpretation by a physician; record and process sonographic data and other pertinent observations made during the procedure for presentation to the interpreting physician; exercise discretion and judgment in the performance of sonographic services; provide patient education related to medical ultrasound; and promote principles of good health.

Employment Characteristics

Diagnostic medical sonographers may be employed in hospitals, clinics, private offices, and industry. There is also a need for suitably qualified educators, researchers, and administrators. The demand for sonographers continues to exceed the supply. The supply and demand ratio affects salaries, depending on experience and responsibilities.

According to the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, the 1995 salary for diagnostic medical sonographers with less than 1 year of experience was $29,800.

Educational Programs

  • Length. Programs are between 1 and 4 years, depending on program design, objectives, and the degree or certificate awarded. Prerequisites. Applicants to a 1-year pro- gram must possess qualifications in a clinically related allied health profession. Applicants to 2-year programs must be high school graduates (or equivalent) with an educational background in basic science, general physics, and algebra.
  • Curriculum. Curricula of accredited programs include physical sciences, applied biological sciences, patient care, clinical medicine, applications of ultrasound, instrumentation, related diagnostic procedures, and image evaluation. A plan for well-structured, competency-based clinical education is an essential part of the curriculum of all sonography programs.
  • Standards. Standards are the minimum requirements of quality used in accrediting programs that prepare individuals to enter diagnostic medical sonography, cardiac sonography, and/or vascular technology.

Inquiries

  • Accreditation. Requests for information on program accreditation, including Standards, preparing the self-study report, and arranging a site visit, should be submitted to:
    Joint Review Committee on Education in
    Diagnostic Medical Sonography
    7108-C S Alton Way/Ste 150
    Englewood, CO 80112-2106
    Ph (303)741-3533
  • Careers/Curriculum
    Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
    12770 Coit Rd/Ste 508
    Dallas, TX 75251-1319 |
    Ph (972)239-7367
  • Certification/Registration
    American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
    600 Jefferson Plaza/Ste 360
    Rockville, MD 20852-1150
    Ph (301) 738-8401