Get into Radiologic Technology School
Lisette Hilton | Monster Contributing Writer
If you think that getting into a radiologic technology (RT) education program should be easy given the shortage of rad tech professionals, think again. The fact is that RT programs are turning away would-be students who don’t meet what is often the strict criteria for admission.
“It is not easy to get in,” says Jane Saball, a student at Bethesda Memorial Hospital’s radiography school in Boynton Beach, Florida. “These programs are not just looking for anybody. They’re looking for the cream of the crop.”
Before she was accepted into her program, Saball, who is changing careers to RT, returned to college to earn specific credits. She also obtained some healthcare experience to strengthen her application. Saball is now on track to earn a certificate of completion in RT in 2008.
Application Levels Affected By Costs
For the 2006-2007 academic year, 95 people applied for just 12 openings at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s RT program, according to Connie Mitchell, MA, RT(CT), the school’s radiography program director. For the 2007-2008 year, “we’re down just a bit but still had about 60 applicants,” says Mitchell, president of the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT).
Bill May, MEd, RT, FASRT, program director at MedVance Institute in Cookeville, Tennessee, says the private programs are more expensive but tend to be easier to get into. At MedVance, about 60 percent of applicants are accepted, May reports.
“Most of the state-sponsored programs have [prerequisites], and since the tuition is much less, [application levels] are much higher,” he says. “At a community college last year, we had over 300 applicants and only accepted 19 students.”
Some programs accept students on a first-come, first-served basis, while others go by the point system for entry. At the University of Nebraska, for example, Mitchell awards applicants points based on their work toward completing prerequisites that include 35 credit hours of basic science, math and English. Interviews, written narratives, healthcare experience and other factors are also used to evaluate candidates.