RAD TECH SPECS: Shortage of Trained Professionals Can Open New Doors | New

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X-ray technologists are celebrated every year from November 6-12, and for local programs and employers, their job is more than just taking x-rays.

“Radiologic technologists perform diagnostic exams using a wide range of imaging modalities,” said Daniel Hannon, director of radiology services at Northeastern Health System.

Hannon said the NHS and its imaging partners provide several ranges of diagnostic imaging services including digital x-ray, digital fluoroscopy, MRI, CT scan, 3D mammography, echocardiography, ultrasound, bone density nuclear medicine, PET CT and interventional radiology.

“Our cutting-edge technology enables our referral providers to diagnose and provide high-quality treatment to people in our community,” Hannon said. “This significant investment has dramatically improved healthcare outcomes and quality of life for patients who choose the NHS.”

Training in the use of these technologies varies by specialization.

“General X-Ray Technology is a two year program with additional training both formal and on the job for CT, MRI and Mammography, Sonography/Ultrasound is a two year program with additional training for echocardiography and nuclear medicine is a four year program,” said Hannon.

Hannon said those interested in a career in medical imaging can feel free to call him at 918-229-1440.

Indian Capital Technology Center offers a two-year, full-time program in radiological technology at its Muskogee campus. This program is for mature students only and is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology.

“The radiology technology program in an intensive and rigorous curriculum with hands-on clinical experiences,” said Dina Craven, ICTC radiology program chair. “After graduating from an accredited program, graduates are eligible to write the National Radiography Certification Examination.”

Craven said a radiology technologist student will take courses in radiation pathology, radiation biology, anatomy, medical terminology, radiation protection, patient care, ethics, physics, radiographic procedures and assessment. ICTC is now accepting applications for 2023 and applicants must have an associate degree or be within 12 hours of completing an associate.

“Right now there’s a shortage of radiology technologists,” Craven said. “If you like helping people, are interested in the human body and technology, radiology is your chosen field.”

Craven said radiology technologists can be employed in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics, medical imaging centers, surgical centers, travelers and mobile imaging agencies.

NHS radiology technologist David Spyres said the job was a career move for him.

“I spoke with a gentleman I was going to church with and he got me interested in the estate,” Spyres said.

Spyres said the best part of his job is helping patients through their healing journey.

Besides formal training, Spyres said the patience and vision to see and anticipate what people need are the most important skills a rad tech should have.

“[Patients] come to see us because they are sick or injured,” he said. “Rad techs need to be compassionate and understanding.”

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