The need for medical professionals continues to grow, specifically in the area of diagnostic imaging. Skilled radiologic technologists (RT) are in high demand, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting an employment increase of 13 percent from 2016 to 2026. While the entry-level radiologic technologists (those with two years or less experience) salary averages $45,878 per year, the median salary in 2018 was $61,240. Despite making nearly double the median income for all American workers, RTs have multiple options to make themselves more desirable to hospitals and earn an even higher income.
Radiologic technologists are educated in radiation safety, radiation protection, anatomy, patient positioning, equipment protocols, and examination techniques. But many RTs specialize in a particular area of medical imaging, like computed tomography (CT scans). With specialized training, RTs instantly increase their value to potential employers.
What Is A Computed Tomography Technologist?
Computed Tomography (CT) Technologists are most frequently hired in hospitals and imaging centers. The patient’s care is in your hands to properly perform a scan on different parts of the body as part of the diagnosis process. You may help the doctors identify a disease or acute condition, but completing the job accurately requires CT tech certification. The CT scans you perform will be used by leading doctors to better understand the extent of a patient’s injuries or illness. The education and polished skills of a CT tech are crucial in determining the ideal balance of radiation dose and image quality.
It will be your job to keep patients calm during the imaging procedure as you utilize a rotating x-ray unit to obtain photos of different areas of the anatomy within the body. CT technology allows physicians to get an inside view of a patient’s organs and condition. Without CT techs, this advanced medical service would not be available.
How To Become A Computed Tomography Technologist
Earning certification as a CT tech is a natural next step after earning your radiologic technologist degree. Being trained in a specialized skill not only makes you more marketable to potential employers, but you can also earn more money.
To begin your CT technician training program, you must first successfully complete a radiologic technology program. The program must be accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). You can choose from a two- or four-year program where you’ll learn the practice of x-ray diagnostic imaging.
Once you’ve achieved your radiologic technologist degree, you can earn certification through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). While ARRT certification may not be necessary to acquire a job in your state, it is used as a licensure requirement in some areas. As you move into researching CT technician training programs, ask for a list of prerequisites before enrolling. Some programs require ARRT certification for entry.
Benefits Of CT Tech Certification
Proving your value to a potential employer begins with the skills you’re certified to complete. A hospital, imaging center, or doctor’s office more readily accepts candidates with the education that backs their skill claim. The benefits of earning your CT tech certification include:
- Higher salary: As of Apr 16, 2019, the average annual pay for a CT technologist in the United States is $75,739 a year.
- Strong employment outlook: The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts more than 30,000 CT technologists will be hired between 2016 and 2026.
- Highly marketable: By earning advanced certification, you widen your job search availability. You have the opportunity to work in advanced medical markets that may not otherwise be an opportunity.
When you enroll in a CT technician training program, you can expect to cover topics like CT imaging chain operational components, essential principles of CT imaging, data acquisition: facts, myths and methods, post-processing, multiplanar reconstruction, CT quality assurance, cardiac fundamentals, and physics of CT scanning and radiation safety. It’s also crucial that the certification program you choose teaches cross-sectional anatomy of numerous parts of the human body.
Beyond The Books
A crucial component to finding the best CT technician training program is finding a course that offers more than basic learning material. You want test prep material that will actually be on the test. The Tuffest Stuff program is designed to equip you with the material that will help you pass the CT registry exam the first time. By offering multiple learning methods, including webinars, live seminars, and online practice exams, The Tuffest Stuff prepares you for the exam and beyond.
The focus of The Tuffest Stuff program is on the technical application of CT courses. Professor Mike Enriquez builds situations and opportunities where difficult technical skills can be easily developed and then tested. The mock registries included in The Tuffest Stuff exam prep course are designed to be harder than the real exam.
CT Technician Important Qualities
Becoming a successful CT tech takes more than certification. While much of your job is technically based, you must also remember that you’ll be working directly with clients who may be experiencing a traumatic situation. Soft skills that will help you grow into the CT technician position include:
- Detail oriented: CT techs must be able to follow precise direction to get the exact images needed for proper diagnosis. Attention to detail is necessary.
- Relational skills: CT techs work closely with patients who may be mentally exhausted, in pain, or dealing with a severe medical condition. It’s your job to help the patient relax and explain the imaging process so their mind is at ease.
- Stress management: As a CT tech, you’ll often be required to work in fast-paced, traumatic situations. You must be able to keep calm and focused on performing the scan exactly as needed.
Other skills necessary for a CT tech job include:
- Physical endurance: CT techs are often on their feet for long stretches of time. Patients may need to be lifted or helped into position. It’s necessary you’re able to handle the physical demands of the job.
- Technical skills: While much of the technically-based information will be covered in your CT technician training program, it’s important that you stay up-to-date on the latest technology with continued education. Stay abreast of advancements in the industry.
Discover the CT technician training program that’s right for you by exploring the learning options available through The Tuffest Stuff program. With a comprehensive approach to teaching you the essentials of becoming a CT tech, and a first time test-taking pass rate of 92 percent, The Tuffest Stuff program is a must-use for the CT Registry Exam.