About the Radiologic Sciences Profession
Radiographers, also known as radiologic technologists, are medical personnel who perform diagnostic imaging examinations, accurately position patients, ensure quality diagnostic images are produced, and adhere to radiation protection regulations for themselves, their patients, and coworkers. They work closely with radiologists, the physicians who interpret medical images, to diagnose or rule out disease or injury.
Radiographers must have an interest and aptitude in the sciences and math and a strong desire to work directly with patients. They are educated in anatomy, patient positioning, examination techniques, equipment protocols, radiation safety, radiation protection and basic patient care. To become a registered radiologic technologist, RT(R), students must complete an accredited program, earn an academic degree, and pass a national certification examination. To remain registered, they must earn continuing education credits.
Most radiographers or radiologic technologists work in hospitals, physicians' offices and clinics, or diagnostic imaging centers. Multi-skilled RT(R)s who are educated and credentialed in more than one type of imaging technique are the most marketable. With experience and additional education, staff radiographers may become specialists, performing CT, mammography, angiography, and magnetic resonance imaging, or advance into management or education. Radiation therapy, sonography, and nuclear medicine typically require an additional specialty training program. Currently there are job openings throughout the country. Salaries are competitive with other healthcare professions that require similar education. Mean annual earnings for radiographers is $56,760 (www.bls.gov, "National Occupational and Wage Estimates", May 2010)
The NDSU Bachelor of Science, RS Major
A bachelor of science degree with a major in radiologic sciences from NDSU includes two or more years of rigorous academic course work and a two-year full-time internship in an accredited, affiliated hospital-based radiography program. Transfer students need to successfully complete a minimum of 20 resident credits at NDSU prior to starting an internship. Academic course work focuses on the sciences and includes chemistry, physics, human anatomy and physiology, microbiology, trigonometry and computer science. In addition, each student is required to complete a minimum of 12 credits of 300-400 level special elective courses on campus. Upon satisfactory completion of the educational and clinical experience, NDSU bestows the B.S. degree, major in Radiologic Sciences, and the graduate is eligible to take the national certification examination.
Students who have completed the pre-requisite courses and meet the grade point average (GPA) requirements established by the affiliated hospital program may be eligible to apply for an internship. Internship admission is competitive and based upon academic achievement, completion of pre-requisite coursework, references, related work experience and an interview. In addition, applicants must comply with criminal background and student conduct requirements.
The two-year full-time internship consists of classroom and clinical instruction in patient care procedures, radiation physics and protection, principles of imaging, positioning, radiobiology and pathology. In addition to routine diagnostic imaging, education may also be provided in mammography, CT, and MRI. Affiliated radiography programs are accredited by the Joint Review Committee for Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT)
It is highly recommended that students interested in this major meet with the RS adviser for more information about education options at NDSU in cooperation with affiliated hospital programs, internship sites, and admission criteria at least one year prior to anticipated internship application.
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