Becoming a Radiological Technologist
New York State licensed Radiologic Technologist (RBT) must hold continuous State license and training for two years before qualifying for independent practice. There are certain requirements that must be met by RBT as well. It is mandatory for them to have obtained radiographic technology operations qualifications (RTA). The requirements are based on the classification, placement and handling of radioactive materials and related processes. Failure to meet the minimum criteria can result in a refusal of licensure and in some states, suspension of license.
Current regulatory requirements generally allow the licensing board or governing authority to deny the license to practice Radiologic Technology particularly if the applicant was convicted of a criminal offense or other serious criminal violation. An individual who has completed all requirements required by the regulatory body and holds current radiology technologist (RBT) certification is eligible to take the Licensing Exam for Radiologic Technology (LERT). There are no prerequisites for passing the exam. Therefore, it is highly recommended for all technologists to enroll for the exam, meet all eligibility requirements and pass it.
The LECT is a written exam that tests a student’s knowledge of one or more of the fundamental aspects of radiologic technology. Successful completion of this exam is a prerequisite to obtaining a license. As part of the licensing process, a candidate must successfully complete both the written test and the hands-on practical exam, providing evidence of successful completion of the exam. A candidate who fails both of these tasks will have to undergo further training and may not be able to successfully complete his or her LECT.
The basic knowledge that is required for taking the exams consists of knowing the functions and features of digital and analog radiography equipment, identifying diagnostic devices used in diagnostic procedures, understanding how electronic processes affect the functions of conventional radiography machines, basic chemistry, and how ionizing radiation affects cells in various tissues. Successful completion of this course will prepare a radiologic technologist to diagnose and treat various diseases associated with various organs of the body. It will also help him or her understand the safety issues involved in various kinds of radiographic processes. Some of the concepts that students learn from this course include using diagnostic medical devices properly, the use of electronic and mechanical equipment, understanding the effects of ionizing radiation on biological material such as tissues, and understanding the safety parameters of electrocardiograph (ECG) techniques. Specific topics that are commonly tested on the LECT include the application of defocused X-ray (DFX) methods, the utility of digital images for medical imaging purposes, and how to interpret electrocardiograph (ECG) results.
The core concepts of radiologic technology and applied sciences, such as biology, chemistry, physics, and clinical ethics, are essential for a student to succeed in these two disciplines. These core concepts are further refined through the additional training provided by a course in Radiologic Technology or Applied Science. Courses in Radiography Technology introduce students to techniques such as diagnostic medical tests and medical imaging procedures and how to interpret these tests. A four-year bachelor’s degree is required for students wishing to pursue careers as radiologic technicians with an LPN degree. In order to become licensed, a person must complete a two-year associate degree program in radiology or an eight-month certificate course in diagnostic medical care, all of which must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Radiologic Technology.
Aspiring technicians will also need to complete both a basic education in mathematics and anatomy, as well as training in algebra, physiology, pharmacology, statistics, and English. With these technical skills under their belt, the next step is to take general courses in professional development and administrative communications to help them develop the knowledge they will need to competently perform their jobs in both clinical and laboratory settings. Courses in Medical Technology provide a thorough overview of diagnostic, medical procedures and their uses in both research and practice. They also offer courses in pharmacological principles and therapeutic procedures, technical skills related to interpreting and administering diagnostic medical tests, basic and advanced algebra and chemistry, and medical terminology. Some colleges also offer programs in clinical supervision, radiology Pathology, and medical information management.
There are some specific clinical requirements for radiologic technology trainees that must be met. The American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers requires that candidates pass a diagnostic medical sonography exam in order to become certified, and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) also requires that candidates successfully complete a diagnostic medical sonography residency prior to applying for certification. These educational requirements can often be difficult to meet, especially for people who have not had prior clinical experience, and some schools may choose to waive them in order to save money on educational expenses. For prospective students, it is important to understand the clinical experience requirements before choosing a school. This will ensure that students are able to fulfill their clinical experience requirements without having to take unnecessary medical courses.
There are several different positions available in radiologic technology as well, including those who work with MRI machines, or ‘radiologists’. There are also positions available in surgical technologists, or STS or supplementary radiation specialists. The main job of radiologic technologists is to ensure that equipment such as MRI machines and CAT scanners to function correctly, and that medical procedures are performed accurately and appropriately for every patient. If you are thinking about a career in radiologic technology, you should know that qualifications are only a part of what makes a good candidate for this exciting field. You should also be well versed in all the different techniques used in the process of diagnostic imaging, such as how to position patients and how to operate the equipment.