Pima Medical Institute X-Ray Technician Programs And Info

A Radiologic Technologist is one career consistently in demand within the growing para-medicine field and is only expected to continue growing. Para-medicine refers to the essential members of the health care team who perform all of the auxiliary testing, support, and treatment needed for successful healthcare. The most competitive Radiologic Technologists are those who hold a robust and proven degree from a quality, accredited institution such as Pima Medical Institute.

Radiologic Technologist Career Overview

woman being checked

Image via flickr

Radiologic Technologist, or Radiographers, hold one of the most essential positions in the para-medicine community, as they provide all of the imaging needed for primary care physicians to properly diagnose and treat their patients. Radiologic Technologists carry out orders or referrals to prepare imaging studies for use by primary care providers. Radiology is used across all medical fields, including dental, orthopedics, oncology, emergency, chiropractic, and surgery.

Radiography, according to the FDA, refers to medical studies designed to look inside the body using various x-ray technologies. In the widest of views, radiography is used to diagnosis or guide treatment decisions for a variety of illness and injurious conditions. Radiography is also used to monitor ongoing medical conditions. The job of the Radiologic Technologist is to perform the procedures that produce radiography images for use.

Sometimes mistakenly called radiologic technicians or x-ray technicians, radiologic technologists have a higher level of education than technicians. As such, they do much more than simply carry out orders or fulfill the requests of a referral. Radiologic Technologists have an understanding of the conditions that necessitate their work and also deeply understand the technologies they work with and are often in charge of inspection and monitoring of that technology.

Radiologic Technologists work directly with patients, often providing solace as well as technical skill, educating them on the technologies being used, and assisting them in completing the steps of the procedure. All of this leads to providing high-quality images for the medical team to accurately diagnose and treat different conditions. Radiologic Technologists can work in hospitals, emergency rooms, community clinics, physician offices or radiography clinics.

Radiologic Technologist Tasks Include:

  • Collaborate with other healthcare providers
  • Support patients, providing guidance and education
  • Adhere to safety guidelines to protect from radiation exposure
  • Determine what imaging is needed according to order
  • Choose and perform proper procedures
  • Evaluate and finalize imaging
  • Complete inspections and paperwork

Educational Requirements, Expected Salary, And Career Trajectory

Educational Requirements

doctor and nurse

Image via flickr


Education requirements for becoming a Radiologic Technologist include at least two years of formalized education in an accredited program, either at a hospital or an academic institution. Radiology Technologists must also pass a national certification exam and earn ongoing continuing education units. Legal education requirements vary by location, so we recommend double-checking with the state health board for state-specific education requirements.

An Associates of Applied Sciences (A.A.S.) Degree in Radiography, such as offered at Pima Medical Institute, may be the preferred way to begin a path towards becoming a Radiologic Technologist. This degree prepares the student for nationally recognized certification and demonstrates a didactic education and clinical training that is rigorous and thorough. Classes at Pima Medical Institute are small and approachable, and instructors are experienced in their fields.

Expected Radiologic Technologist Salary

pay

Image via flickr


Radiologic Technologists are expected to earn at least a living wage, if not land with a well-paying position as soon as they’ve finished school and obtained national certification. Beginning salaries for Radiologic Technologists average about $59,000 to $63,000 per year and they average $28 hourly in the US. The salary range begins at $34,000 and goes up to $66,000 per year. That is between $15 and $30 per hour.

Higher salaries are awarded to Radiologic Technologist with higher levels of education or specialty training, and salaries do tend to increase with experience. Fields like cardiovascular-interventional radiography, mammography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sonography, and computed tomography (CT) are the most lucrative.

Most, up to 75%, of working Radiologic Technologists report competitive and comprehensive benefits packages and bonuses. These include health insurance, vision coverage, dental coverage, paid sick pay, vacation and paid time off, education stipends, and some type of retirement plan contributions.

Career Trajectory

someone with doctor in the mri

Image via flickr


Career trajectories for those who hold an Associates of Applied Sciences (A.A.S.) Degree in Radiography from Pima Medical Institute is positive. It is expected that Radiologic Technologist careers will see a 13 percent job growth within the next ten years. That is a demand that ensures a job for qualified applicants immediately out of school and for years to come.

Beyond entry-level positions, Radiologic Technologists also find it easy to advance into supervision roles over time. Experience is key here, as the more years on the job the more likely a Radiologic Technologist will be offered a role in supervision. Job satisfaction is high with most Radiologic Technologists reporting enjoying their jobs, their interactions with patients, and knowing that they are an important part of the healthcare team.

Pima Medical Institute Associates Of Applied Sciences (A.A.S.) Degree In Radiography

Pima Medical Institute offers an Associates of Applied Sciences (A.A.S.) Degree in Radiography which provides a solid basic education, hands-on skills and needed the training to succeed as a Radiologic Technologist. This program can be completed in about two years. Below are some details of the program including where it is offered, the goals of the program, coursework, externship benefits, program effectiveness, tuition, and application process.

Where Is The Program Offered


The Associates of Applied Sciences (A.A.S.) Degree is being offered in many cities in the northwest, west coast and southwest. This ensures that there are available campuses nearby prospective students in most of the west side of the United States. The program is currently offered in the following cities:

  • Mesa, Arizona
  • Tucson, Arizona
  • Chula Vista, California
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Houston, Texas
  • El Paso, Texas
  • Seattle, Washington

Goals Of The Program

Pima Medical Institute wants graduates to be ready for the career field. The school sets the following goals for the Associates of Applied Sciences (A.A.S.) Degree program:

  • Prepare graduates for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists Certification Exam
  • Prepare graduates for a successful Radiologic Technologist career or for a career as an X-ray Technologist
  • Prepare students for transitioning into Bachelor’s degree if desired

Coursework

The coursework within the Pima Medical Institute Pima Medical Institute Associates of Applied Sciences (A.A.S.) Degree in Radiography is more robust than a typical two-year degree. Transfer credits from another accredited institution may be honored and Pima Medical Institute does offer an advanced placement track.

This is an 87-credit program that can generally be completed in 6 semesters over 96 weeks. An externship is required for hands-on skills learning. We recommend speaking to an academic advisor at Pima Medical Institute to discuss your planned program in detail.

Classes Include (2018 catalog)

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Computer Literacy
  • Communications
  • Medical Terminology
  • Math Applications
  • Radiography
  • Positioning
  • Medical Law & Ethics
  • Physics
  • Principles of Exposure
  • Methods of Patient Care
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Radiographic Biology
  • Clinical Externship
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Radiographic Biology
  • Adv. Radiographic Imaging & Special Procedures

Externship Benefits

An externship is when the student works within the field they are studying under the supervision of a qualified professional. It is an important part of entering any healthcare field to guarantee the minimal experience needed for safe practice that adheres to community standards. The Associates of Applied Sciences (A.A.S.) Degree at Pima Medical Institute will give provide the student with an externship that comes with many benefits.

  • Exposure to different practice techniques
  • Mentorship
  • Closely mirrors career path
  • Build experience
  • Develop professionalism
  • Practice skills under supervision
  • Get valuable feedback on skills

Program Effectiveness

The Pima Medical Institute reports that their Associates of Applied Sciences (A.A.S.) Degree in Radiography is highly effective. According to Pima Medical Institute, 75%-95% of students graduate on the first attempt, 90-100% pass credentialing exams within 5 years, and 82%-98% of graduates have jobs as Radiologic Technologists five years following graduation.

Program Costs

The Associates of Applied Sciences (A.A.S.) Degree in Radiography at Pima Medical Institute costs about $13,000 per year in tuition with a total yearly cost of attendance of about $30,000 per year. This includes fees, books, supplies, and cost of living estimated for a family of two.

Application Process

To apply for the Associates of Applied Sciences (A.A.S.) Degree in Radiography, Pima Medical Institute requests that prospective students contact them to discuss plans and ensure their program is a good fit. The application process involves:

  1. Completing an application form
  2. Meeting with a career specialist
  3. Passing an entrance exam
  4. Submitting documentation
  5. Meeting specific program requirements
  6. Interviewing with the program director

Conclusion

The Associates of Applied Sciences (A.A.S.) Degree in Radiography offered at Pima Medical Institute provides hands-on internships, comprehensive coursework, and a supportive staff to ensure that anyone seeking a career as a Radiologic Technologist has a solid start. The quality of their program is reflected in their high graduation rates, high certification rates, and by the fact that Pima Medical Institute students are almost always employed in the field of their degree.

Holding a degree as a Radiologic Technologist means being ready for an in-demand position in a vital and growing para-medicine field. It ensures job security, job satisfaction, good pay, and benefits. Patient care is rewarding and dynamic. The combination of these two job aspects is among the many reasons that Radiologic Technologists are a hot career trend. Pima Medical Institute is a solid choice for prospective Radiologic Technologist students.