1 Frequently Asked Questions What is a radiographer? Radiographers, commonly referred to as X-ray techs or radiologic technologists, are medical personnel, who perform diagnostic imaging procedures. They are responsible for: Communicating effectively with the patient and family Operating the x-ray equipment to include stationary and mobile Accurately demonstrating the appropriates anatomy on a radiograph (or computerized image) through positioning the body part of the patient correctly Determining and selecting the proper exposure factors (radiation) that will produce a quality radiograph/image while maintaining the radiation exposure to a minimum Assisting the radiologist (doctor) during fluoroscopic procedures Providing patient care during the procedure which includes assessing vital signs (blood pressure, respiration), changing patient clothes, assisting them if they become ill, vomit or need to use the restroom Technologists need to be able to handle stressful situations which include taking radiographs in surgery, in the emergency room and performing CPR if necessary. Radiographers may specialize in a specific imaging modality such as Computerized Tomography (CT), mammography, bone densitometry, cardiovascular interventional, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nuclear medicine, sonography or radiation therapy. Most achieve knowledge in these areas through on the job training however Nuclear Medicine, Ultrasound and Radiation Therapy require additional formal education.
2 Program Faculty The radiography faculty consists of the site clinical instructors along with a full-time Program Director and Clinical Coordinator, Adjunct faculty are utilized as needed. Don Borst, MS, RT (R) (MR) (T) Program Director Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Green Bay HS 108 L Linda Joppe, MS, RTR Clinical Coordinator Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Green Bay HS 108 L
3 Curriculum The Radiography Program is a two-year, Associate degree program. NWTC utilizes the state wide recommended curriculum. Unless indicated, all courses are full semester (17 weeks). Summer semesters are 8 weeks on length. SEMSTER 1 16 Credits General Anatomy and Physiology Radiographic Anatomy and Procedures Introduction to Radiography Radiographic Imaging Radiography Clinical Practice 1 2 (238 hours per semester) SEMESTER 2 18 Credits Radiographic Imaging Radiographic Anatomy & Procedures Written Communication Intro to Psychology Radiographic Clinical Practice 2 4 (288 hours per semester) SUMMER SESSION 1 5 Credits Radiographic Clinical Practice 3 2 (8 weeks 144 hours) Intro to Ethics: Theory & App 3 SEMESTER 3 15 Credits Imaging Equipment and Computers Radiographic Image Analysis Modalities Oral/Interpersonal Communication Radiographic Clinical Practice 4 5 (360 hours per semester)
4 SEMESTER 4 12 Credits Radiographic Pathology Radiography Clinical Practice 5 2 (432 hours per semester) Radiation Protection and Biology Race, Ethnic & Diversity Intro to Sociology 3 SUMMER SESSION 2 2 Credits Radiographic Clinical Practice 6 2 (8 weeks 288 hours)
5 Professional Technical Standards The Professional or Technical Standards for radiographers is provided below: In order to perform the tasks required of radiographs, certain physical capabilities are required. Students must demonstrate the ability to perform required functions as a routine part of a classroom laboratory or clinical education. To ensure the safety of the student and their patients, students of the radiography Program must be able to meet the following technical standards. 1. A reasonable amount of strength and mobility are required for the following reasons: a. Radiographers must be able to lift (up to 50 lbs.), move or push heavy equipment specifically cassettes, mobile x-ray equipment, stretchers and/or wheelchairs with the patients in them. b. Radiographers must be able to help in lifting patients who may be paralyzed, comatose or otherwise incapacitated, from the stretchers or wheelchairs to x-ray tables and back. c. Radiographers must be able to provide physical assistance and care for patients in a timely manner in all circumstances. d. Radiographers must be able to reach overhead in order to manipulate an x-ray tube that hangs from the ceiling. 2. Manual dexterity, good motor skills and eye-hand coordination are necessary in order to: a. Manipulate locks on the equipment. b. Don surgical gloves. c. Fill syringes. d. Align patient, film and x-ray tube. 3. Sensory functions in at least one upper limb is necessary in order to palpate bony prominences 4. The ability to hear faint or muffled sounds is necessary in order to: a. Respond to patient needs since operator control areas are separate from the x-ray tube and table where the patient is placed. b. Monitor equipment operation or dysfunction which may be indicated by low sodium bells or buzzers. c. Function when the use of surgical masks is required for protection of the patient or hospital personnel. d. Respond to pages from the hospital public address system.
6 5. Visual acuity (ability to see fine lines) and intensity discrimination (ability to distinguish gradual changes in blacks, grays and whites) are necessary in order to evaluate radiographs for technical quality. 6. The ability to communicate orally and in writing is a requirement for radiographers to a. Ascertain and record patient histories. b. Explain and complete patient consent forms. c. Provide clear and audible directions to patients face-to-face and from the radiography control area which may be 15 feet away from the patient. 7. The ability to stand for extended periods of time: a. Standing is required % of the time throughout the assigned clinical hours. b. Essentially, the job cannot be performed without the ability to stand for extended periods of time. 8. The ability to handle repulsive tasks: a. Radiographers frequently are involved with the handling and disposing of body secretions such as blood, stool, urine, etc. The general cleaning and maintenance of the incontinent patient is a real possibility. 9. The ability to work in a confined space: a. Confined spaces include the processing darkroom and film filing rooms which are used daily. b. Duration in these areas can vary from 1 minute to more than an hour. c. Must be able to work around constantly running water and low humming noises.
7 Professional Certification/Continued Education requirements Upon completion of the general education and radiography program requirements, graduates having met all their financial obligations, are eligible to make application to the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) to take the national certification exam. Individuals applying must also meet the ARRT ethical standards. Upon successful completion, technologists will earn the credential (RTR) registered technologist-radiography. Graduates are qualified to work in hospitals, clinics, physician offices and mobile companies. To maintain certification, technologists must comply with the mandatory continuing education requirements (CE) as dictated by the ARRT. Current mandate is 24 credits biannually.
8 Career Resources There is a constant need for radiographers in hospitals and clinics. Technologists often gain additional on-the-job experience in CT, MR cardiac catherization, special procedures and mammography. Career opportunities also exist in education, applications or sales for commercial companies. For a complete job listing see ASRT.org and look under job bank. The U.S. Department of Labor lists the salary outlook for a radiographer as a mean of $22.60 per hour or $47,010 annually. For additional information see
9 Tips for Program Success The radiography program, like so many health science programs, can be very challenging. Listed below are some tips for success in the Associate Degree Radiography Program: 1. Good time management is of utmost importance. 2. If possible, take any of your general education courses ahead of time, to free up time to focus on your core radiography courses. 3. Throughout the first year radiography courses, a lab component is required. For the Procedures Lab, many students need to spend additional time (outside of class) in the lab to review and practice the skills taught. 4. In addition to the classroom and clinical, students should expect to spend 1 2 hours of study time for each one hour of class time.
10 Requirements for Program Application Candidates must have taken an Academic skills Assessment or ACT assessment within the last three years. Candidates must submit transcripts demonstrating completion of the following with the application: High school diploma or equivalent. One year of Algebra and Chemistry with a grade of C or better. If high school courses, C in two semesters of each. Candidates submitting applications to the Radiography program must also provide: Three references from professional or academic experiences submitted on NWTC forms. For the forms, contact Karen Cisneroz in Admissions at An essay (no more than 1,000 words) outlining: a description of why they are interested in the profession, their current knowledge and experience in the profession, the specific skills and duties of a radiographer, and why they are a good candidate for the program. All students are expected to have entry level computer skills. If a candidate is unsure of their skills, the learning center basic computer skills coursework is recommended (self-choice). Requirements for Program Entry from Wait List Attend mandatory spring program orientation. Complete physical exam within three months before entering program and maintain current immunization information. Complete an American Heart Association Health Care Provider CPR course prior to program entry. Students are required to maintain a current CPR card on a one-year renewal cycle to comply with affiliating agency requirements. Submit Caregiver Background Check paperwork. Complete mandatory four hour job shadow.
11 Clinical Rotation/Sites A mandatory component of the radiography program is Clinical Practice. Clinical Practice involves hands-on education at a designated clinical site. NWTC has affiliate agreements with sites throughout and outside of the district. Every effort will be made to minimize student travel, however, this may not always be possible and students may be required to travel to their clinical site. The distance will depend in the location of their clinical site. Students must pass each section of their clinical education to progress in the Radiography program.
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