Radiology technology is becoming one of the most sough-after jobs in the United States, with an estimated job outlook of a 17% increase in employment for the next 10 years. Most radiology technologists work at hospitals, outpatient care centers, diagnostic laboratories, or clinics. They are skilled in capturing clear images of the internal body through the use of the x-ray, ultrasound equipment and other forms of radiology equipment. A great number of radiographers are graduates of 2-year Associate’s degree program and are certified by ARRT (American Registry of Radiology Technologists) to practice professionally in their respective states. In some states, certification is done voluntarily. However, employers prefer hiring radiology technologists that are certified. Radiology technologists are eligible for certification if they have graduated from an ARRT-accredited school and if they pass the ARRT examination.
In order for license radiographers and other radiology specialists to renew their certification and maintain an active status, they must complete 24 ARRT-accredited continuing education units (CEU) every two years. Depending on the specialty of the radiology technologist, continuing education hours can vary. Technologists who have been inactive and are planning to return to their profession must also adhere to the radiology technologist CEU requirements. Those who fail to meet the requirements of the continuing education will be placed on probation.
Radiographers have a lot continuing education courses to choose from but it is important for radiology technology CEUs course materials to be relevant to the application of x-ray equipments. According to the ASRT (American Society of Radiologic Technologist), acceptable continuing education classes include x-ray administration, iodinated contrast media, x-ray management and x-ray quality control. Another great way of obtaining continuing education hours is by enrolling in academic courses at a community college. Usually, one semester credit counts for 16 continuing education credits while one quarter credit can be transferred as 12 CE credits. Acceptable academic courses include communications, social sciences, health and medical classes. Continuing education credits will also be given for courses such as PALS (pediatric advanced life support), ACLS (advanced cardiac life support), accident and emergency, radiation protection, anatomical cross-sections and radiologic pathology. Technologists may also gain one CE credit through taking a quiz on the directed readings at the ASRT website or by passing a equivalency examination approved by the ARRT.
The requirements for continuing education may be fulfilled by enrolling into community colleges, vocational schools and private schools, through online programs, or by participating in radiology activities or seminars. Most activities that are acceptable as continuing education will get one credit unit every 60 minutes of activity.
Continuing education allows radiology technologists to perform their responsibilities to their patients with more competence and professionalism. It is not just a requirement for them to fulfill in order to be able to renew a license. Continuing education provides these radiographers a means to keep up with the latest trends in radiology so they could apply the new information that they have learned to their day-to-day interactions with their patients.