Nursing & Health Sciences

Radiographic Science: FAQs

                                  Radiographic Science: FAQs

                                      Information about the Profession

 

1. What kind of work does a radiologic technologist (x-ray tech) do?

A radiologic technologist performs a variety of duties throughout a normal work day. The duties include providing patient care, to performing diagnostic images to assisting a radiologist with a special procedure, and etc. Rad tech work can span throughout a hospital or clinic. The daily duties may lead a tech into the Emergency Room, the Surgery Suite, the Intensive Care Unit, or to the normal X-ray room within the Radiology Department. Where ever an image is needed is where a tech may be found.

For an in depth description, please review the information found at:

https://www.arrt.org/Practice-Analysis/


More specifically, for radiologic technologists, effective in 2012: https://www.arrt.org/News/articles/misc/Certification-Updates-RAD.aspx

2. What skills are needed?

Radiologic technologists need good communication skills, strong computer skills, an ability to respond and perform in an emergent situation, be professional at all times, and retain strong ethical standards.

The program will instruct and enable a student to become an effective practitioner.

Physically, a tech must be able to work while standing for long periods of time, lift and move patient in a safe manner, and at times, perform proficiently with little rest.

3. Why is the LCSC program called Radiographic Science?  How does radiography differ from radiology?

Radiography refers to x-ray imaging only. Radiology refers to the study of Radiography, thereby, encompasses the entire diagnostic imaging arena including: x-ray, ultrasound, MRI, CT, Nuclear Medicine, PET, SPECT or any other modality that images all or parts of the human body for diagnostic purposes.

4. What is the difference between a radiologist and a radiologic technologist?

A Radiologic Technologist is the individual who performs the x-ray. Typically a rad tech has graduated from approximately 3 years of college with an Associates or Bachelor’s Degree and passed the National Registry provided by the ARRT.

A Radiologist is a medical doctor specializing in interpretation of diagnostic images (requiring approximately 12 years of college, including medical school, and internship).

5. What’s the average salary for a new technologist?

There are regional differences in salaries for radiologic technologists. Locally, starting salaries for new graduates are approximately $20-22 per hour. For the most current national salary information, please refer to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/radiologic-technologists.htm#tab-5

6. What is the job outlook for the near future?

For national information, Occupation Outlook is summarized on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website:

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/radiologic-technologists.htm

Any area that is fortunate enough to have a program in their vicinity often experiences a saturated job market. It becomes a very competitive market due to the output of new graduates each year.

7. What’s the job placement rate for this program’s graduates?
Job Placement Rate Year of Graduation & program type Total number of graduates Total number
respondents
Number of students actively seeking employment in radiologic sciences
profession
Job Placement Rate
(%)
2008
Radiography
10 9 0 100%
2009
Radiography
17 14 3 (21%) 79%
2010
Radiography
12 10 0 100%
2011
Radiography
9 8 0 100%
2012
Radiography
16 10 10 100%

8. Is a Bachelor’s degree required to get a job in radiologic technology?

No, but anyone graduating after Dec 31, 2014 will be required to have an AS degree. As stated on the American Registry for Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) website:

“Quality patient care relies on cognitive skills and knowledge developed through coursework included in the general education requirements of an associate degree program. Communication skills, sociological understanding, and psychological insights contribute greatly to an individual's ability to function within the profession.”

For more details, please visit the ARRT.org website: https://www.arrt.org/FAQ/Associate-Degree-Requirement

9. Does this profession require continuing education?

Yes. Currently, the ARRT requires 24 credits of continuing education every two years. For more detail, see: https://www.arrt.org/pdfs/Governing-Documents/Continuing-Education-Requirements.pdf

 

Current High School Students

1. What kinds of classes should I be taking in high school to enhance my preparation for Radiography School?

Math and science based courses such as biology, anatomy and physiology, chemistry and physics will all help create a strong foundation for students preparing to enter almost any healthcare field including radiography. Courses structured on enhancing communication and computer skills are also important. Many high schools have made arrangements to allow for Certified Nurses’ Aide (CNA) training as well.

2. How can I find out if I even like this job?

Research what the job entails online. Try to job shadow at a local medical facility for a day. Ask the school counselor or career advisor if your school offers career experience and/or mentoring possibilities.


Prospective Students

1. I have a misdemeanor or felony on my record. Can I still be accepted into the Program? What do I need to do?

Any misdemeanor or felony charges on a record may result in the inability to enter the Program or take the National Registry Exam or work as a Radiologic Technologist. If there are any concerns about this possibility, it is better to find out prior to beginning the pre-program education. A person is encouraged to visit the Nursing & Health Sciences website. Specifically, review the Pre-Program Handbook regarding the Background Check Policy to determine whether or not you can enter any of the Division’s programs.


Also, the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) requires an Ethics Review Pre-Application for any of the following circumstances:

  • Criminal proceedings including:
    • misdemeanor charges and convictions
    •  felony charges and convictions,
    • military court-martials; and/or
  • Disciplinary actions taken by a state or federal regulatory authority or certification board; and/or
  • Honor code (academic) violations.

For details on the Ethics Pre-Application (forms and fees) visit: https://www.arrt.org/FAQ/Ethics-Review-Pre-Application

2. What courses do I need to take as a new college student?

Please review the Program Plan.

3. My GPA is low due to my early college years. Will this old GPA be considered in the admission process? My grades are very good now.

All courses and grades will be considered when applying to the Radiographic Science program. An academic advisor can assist with the application process. If a person has a poor college performance, it is recommended that s/he complete an Internal Petition form to be submitted with the application. Explain the reasons for past low grades and include a discussion about changes made to ensure future success in the Radiographic Science program.

4. Do old classes ‘expire’? Some of my classes are more than 10 years old.

Neither the college nor the Radiographic Science program sets a limit on the “age” of past coursework. Students are cautioned to carefully evaluate their knowledge from older classes and contact an advisor for additional questions.

5. Can I attend the radiographic science program part time?

No. Once accepted into the Radiographic Science program, fulltime enrollment is required. If a person withdraws from the program for any reason, he or she must reapply. Re-entry procedures are delineated in the Pre-Program Information & Policies and the NHS Student Handbook found on the web site.

6. Will I be able to take other classes, or work during the program?

During the FIRST fall and spring semesters, the student will be fully engaged On Campus on Mondays and Wednesdays – the student would be free to work any time during the rest of the week, and take other courses offered on a Tuesday/Thursday schedule, or online.

Beginning in the summer, and continuing through the remainder of the program, it is unlikely that schedules will enable work full time, unless a person has a very flexible employer. This is due to the number of hours required in clinicals; the distance to be traveled to the assigned site that usually changes each semester; and the probability of rotating schedules at those sites.

Clinical experience takes precedence over any non-programmatic classes.
The clinical sites arrange the schedule around dates and times the instructors provide for Program class dates. Any other course work will need to be Online.

7. Where will I go for my clinical experience?

The Program is currently contracted with many clinical sites around the region including hospitals in Colfax, Pullman, Moscow, Clarkston, Lewiston, Orofino, Cottonwood, Grangeville and Enterprise, OR and a clinic in Sandpoint is sometimes used.

8. Do the clinical sites ever hire the graduates?

Yes. A large percentage of our graduates can be found at our clinical sites. Highly motivated, friendly, team-players are most likely to be offered jobs when there are openings.

9. I’m thinking of changing my current major to radiographic science. What should I do?

First, go to your WarriorWeb account, select the View Degree Audit Report, then ‘What if I changed my program of study?’ and select Radiographic Science from the drop down menu. Print the subsequent report. This will illustrate what courses are still needed to be eligible to apply to the program.

Then, make an appointment with your current advisor, or contact the Nursing & Health Sciences Division for referral to an available Radiographic Science advisor.

10. How much does it cost to attend the LCSC Radiographic Science program?

Information on college fees can be found on the tuition and fees website. Special course fees for laboratory supplies, radiation exposure monitoring, and assessment testing are attached to Radiographic Science courses. Additionally, students are required to purchase an iPad for the program. Every effort is made to use texts that are available electronically, and faculty negotiates with publishers for competitive pricing.

11. Is the LCSC Radiographic Science Program JRCERT Accredited?

Yes. LCSC achieved JRCERT Accreditation in spring, 2013. Although not required, accreditation by the Joint Review Committee on Education (JRCERT) is a clear indication that the Program adheres to the highest possible educational standards.

Program Applicants

1. When do I need to apply?

All application instructions can be found on our website, but generally speaking, the Application Window is March 15th to April 1st each year. If April 1st falls on the weekend, the window is extended to the following Monday.

2. I am currently enrolled in prerequisite courses. Can I still apply?

Yes. Please mark the course as “IP” or “In Progress” on the application. If the course being taken is from an institution other than LCSC, an official transcript must be sent to the Office of Admissions.

3. What’s the average cumulative GPA for accepted applicants?

The application states that a cumulative GPA of 2.0 for general education core classes is acceptable. Beginning in spring 2014, the science & math GPA (BIOL 252, 253, CHEM 105, & core MATH) has been increased to 2.50. On average, successful applicants’ cumulative GPAs range from 3.46 to 3.64. To be clear, an application demonstrating an overall GPA of 2.0 and a science & math GPA of 2.50 is eligible for committee review but is not competitive.

4. I’m not happy with my science grades (BIOL 252, 253, and CHEM 105), can I repeat those courses for a better grade?

For all Nursing & Health Sciences Division programs students are allowed to repeat specific courses (BIOL 252, 253, and CHEM 105) once. Note that a ‘W’ counts as one attempt. See Pre-Program Progression in the Pre-Program Handbook for details.

5. How many people apply each year, and how many are accepted?

On average, we receive about 25 to 30 applicants each year. We accept 18 students.

6. How can I make myself more competitive?

Earn the highest grades you can in your science and math courses, as these are the best predictors of the success you are likely to experience in the radiographic science program. Job Shadow in a radiology department at a hospital near you. Include any healthcare experience you have in your Application Cover Letter.

7. What’s the HOBET?

The Health Occupations Basic Entrance Test (HOBET) is used to assess current academic skills in reading, math, science, and English.

For more details visit the testing center website.

8. Should I study for the HOBET?

Most students prefer to study for this test. There is often a study guide available at our LCSC library, or you can purchase your own study guide at our on-campus book store. Additionally, you can Google resources: practice test questions and/or publications for purchase.

9. When and where do I take the HOBET?

A student cannot take this test more than once in a calendar year, so it is recommended to take the HOBET no later than mid-February. In the event the student is not accepted the first time and reapplies to the program, the student will have time for a second attempt prior to the next application window. NOTE: The most recently earned score will be used (not necessarily the highest score).

Current LCSC students may take the HOBET on campus and the results will be sent directly to the Nursing & Health Sciences Division. Transfer students may take on their current campus, and must request that results be sent directly to LCSC.

10. I don’t like my HOBET score. Can I take the test again?

A student can only take the HOBET once in a calendar year. Please note that the most recent score will be used – not necessarily the highest score.

11. Do I need letters of recommendation?

No.

12. When will I know if I have been accepted into the program?

Decisions are not made until after spring semester grades are received in May. When there are transfer student applicants taking courses on the quarter system, arrangements are made to obtain the last quarter grades as soon as possible after final class date.

13. Friends have told me that I need a lot of vaccinations, a Criminal Background Check, and CPR training. Should I take care of these now?

These items are not needed until after you are accepted into the Program. Written instructions will be sent with the acceptance letter.


Additional Information for Transfer Students

1. What do I do first?

A student must first apply to Lewis-Clark State College as a pre-radiographic science major. Detailed instruction and explanation of fees: LCSC Transfer Students

2. How do I know whether or not my classes will transfer?

The Nursing & Health Sciences Division has published a grid describing how math and science courses will transfer for regional Idaho and Washington schools: Transfer Grid.

For other schools and information regarding core classes, information can be found at: http://tes.collegesource.com/view/tes_view01.asp?rid={EC3B4732-8E0A-46FE-B6C0-9DD798733C5C}&aid={6AD506C0-60A5-4BEA-A8ED-601DCDD949B4}

Please note: Once an Official Transcripts has been submitted a formal evaluation will be performed.

3. If I take the HOBET at my school, do I need to send you the results?

When taking the HOBET, the student will fill out a list of schools to have the results sent to. A copy does not need to send us.

4. I am an international student. Can I apply to the LCSC Radiographic Science (RS) program?

Of course! However, the requirements for foreign students entering U.S. colleges are sometimes difficult to meet. Please speak directly with the International Programs Office [intloff@lcsc.edu; 208-792-2321]. The iBT or IETLS test of language competency is required for admission to the Radiographic Science program [for all students for whom English is not the native and first language]. See details regarding the TOEFL or IETLS test in the Pre-Program Handbook.