Radiologic Technologist: Working Behind the Shield

<P>A radiologic technologist is able to examine patients using medical imaging equipment. Medical imaging is a diagnostic tool utilizing, for example, X-Ray and medical resonance imaging machines. The position is responsible for compiling specific images ordered by a doctor and protecting the safety and providing for the comfort of the patient.</P> <P>The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the 2010 mean wage for a radiologic technician at $54,000, the low being $37,000 and the high at $77,000. The bureau expects demand for the profession to climb nearly 30% between 2010 and 2020. The growth will be in response to an aging population and the increasing need for treating skeletal maladies brought on by age. Positions are mostly found in hospitals however in response to trends in outpatient treatment imaging centers and individual physician offices are becoming centers of employment opportunity.</P> <P>Radiologic technician education requires at least an associate degree from an accredited school or hospital program. The accreditation must include curriculum approval from the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCET).</P> <P>The profession is regulated in 37 states. Typically a test is administered to obtain a license based either on state requirements or on requirements established by The American Registry of Radiologic Technologist (ARRT). Continuing radiologic technician education is required to keep a state license active. Additional professional certifications are also available from the ARRT involving the different types of imaging such as nuclear, magnetic resonance and sonography. ARRT provides an on-line verification of certification and certification status.</P> <P>The abundance of schools for radiologic technician training offers multiple recruitment sites. Schools also attempt to provide on the job training and job shadowing as part of the curriculum. Partnering with a local school, technical college, community college or university provides a pathway for the development of more qualified employment candidates and will provide immediate access to experience proven prospects.</P> <P>Experienced and new job hunters will be involved in social media like Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter. Establishing a presence on social media will place your organization where new recruits are to be found. Traditional want ads and even posting on Craigs list ignores a large sector of the potential workforce.</P> <P>Partnering with a school can offer more than just job shadow possibilities. Offering grants, scholarships, awarding prizes to seniors for research into medical imaging technology will create a long term and renewing pool of qualified employment candidates. Professional sponsorship for school programs encourages program selection and provides an incentive for excelling at the course work and completing the program.  </P> <P>Career path management is an effective recruitment tool. Providing education stipends and pathways into management positions not only improves the quality of the workforce but increase retention of existing employees. Increased retention reduces future recruitment costs helping to offset the benefit expenses.</P> <P>Federal and state training programs especially targeted for returning armed service veterans offer direct payments and tax incentives for their hiring and training. Additional funding is available targeting specific social and economical groups. Contacting the local Veterans Administration Office and a states Economic Development Office will quickly make a connection with the program administrators. Many of these programs can also be used to improve the skills of qualified individuals already in the organization.</P> <P>The increasing demand for radiologic technologist services is inevitable. The opportunity to meet the demand will be dependent on successful recruiting and retention policies. These policies will require being visible where the workforce is searching such as on Facebook and other social media sites and participation in professional organizations. Exploring public programs can reduce the cost of developing and training staff in the required areas.</P>

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