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Radiologic Technologists Explore Career Options

Radiologic Technologists Explore Career Options

By Jennifer LeClaire | Monster Contributing Writer

Get Ahead in Healthcare

Within healthcare, advancement means taking advantage of on-the-job learning opportunities. Once RTs pass their licensing exam, the majority of their remaining training occurs in-house, says Patricia Clark, manager of performance improvement and quality assurance for Temple University Hospital’s radiology department.

“Technologists can take evening classes in-house to learn the skills necessary to move up from a starting position to a place in CT (computed tomography) or interventional or even MRI (magnetic resonance imaging),” she says, referring to some of the higher-paying specialties within the field. “When a position opens up, the ones who took the time to go to those classes will usually get the job, because they’ve already done some of the work in their clinical experience.”

RT Stepping Stones

Two career levels designed to serve as stepping stones into the profession are emerging to address the lack of a well-defined RT career path: radiologist assistant and RT aide. “Radiologist assistants are the advanced practice level, and RT aides are the pre-professional level,” explains Cathy Parsons, chairman of the ASRT board of directors. “This will remove some of the heavy load from radiologic technologists and give us a pool of future workers to draw from.”

Visible career paths overcome a stigma that there’s no room for advancement in radiologic technology, Parsons says. They also foster professional development, promote recruitment and encourage loyalty to the field by providing attainable rewards for pursuing additional education and credentialing, she adds.

RTs looking for that upward step in any setting should apply themselves and absorb all they can in an extern program, Clark says.

“Learn and become a good technologist and a good patient-care provider,” she advises. “Providing the patient with excellent care is your first goal. Sometimes we miss that.”

This article originally appeared on Monster Career Advice.

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