Radiography Program Overview
This page contains the following information pertaining to the Radiography Program:
Radiography is the art and science of producing radiographic images of internal structures of humans. Many radiographers, known by the credentials R.T.(R), work along side radiologists, who are MDs or DOs who specialize in radiology. Radiographers produce images that are interpreted by radiologists. For more advanced procedures such as arthrograms and myelograms, the radiographer’s role is to assist the radiologist who performs those types of exams.
The profession has come a long way since the first radiograph over 110 years ago. It has moved from recording images on glass plates, to film and more recently, to digital images. The x –ray generators and tubes have advanced too. It is a fast-paced and constantly-changing profession.
Today’s radiographers make creating a radiographic image look simple. There’s nothing easy about producing a quality radiograph. Radiographers simultaneously use their knowledge of anatomy, physics, radiographic procedures, communication, and radiation protection as well as patient care skills.
Employment Opportunities or Careers
Hospitals, clinics, imaging centers, doctors’ offices, and chiropractors are a few of the employers of radiographers.
Radiographers can specialize in mammography (M), computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MR), cardiac-interventional (CI), vascular-interventional (VI), quality management (QM), or bone densitometry (BD). With an additional year of education, radiographers can move into careers in sonography (S), nuclear medicine (N), or radiation therapy (T). Opportunities in education, sales, applications and management are also available, but generally require a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 2-5 years of employment as a radiographer.
Richland Community College’s Radiography program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association and is an American Registry of Radiologic Technologists approved education program.
The mission of the Richland Community College Radiography Program is to provide students with classroom, lab, and clinical experiences that enable them to achieve entry-level knowledge, skills, and professional values needed to produce quality radiographs.
The Radiography Program Goals are:
- To recruit and enroll qualified students capable of program completion using non-discriminatory practices.
- To provide students with didactic, lab, and clinical experiences that provide them with opportunities to achieve entry-level competency in radiography.
- To work closely with the local communities of interest to insure that the program is meeting or exceeding their needs.
- To provide students with an educational environment that promotes professional growth and development after graduation.
Throughout the Radiography Program, students are evaluated on the following seven learning outcomes:
- Produce & recognize quality radiographs
- Provide age & culturally- appropriate patient care respecting the patients’ rights
- Apply the principles of radiation protection to self, patients, & others
- Demonstrate professional manner consistent with ethical standards
- Demonstrate problem solving & critical thinking skills
- Demonstrate computer skills
- Demonstrate effective oral & written communication
Before students can produce radiographic images on patients in the clinical setting they must first practice and demonstrate proficiency in the radiography lab. Students practice positioning each other and can take actual radiographs of our phantom named Pixy.
In order to take the ARRT radiography certification examination, a person must complete an approved educational program, including completion of over fifty clinical exam competencies.
Richland’s Radiography Program students rotate through all three clinical sites, Decatur Memorial Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital in Decatur, and Memorial Medical Center in Springfield.
The total estimated cost for the Radiography Program, based on full-time attendance, is approximately $ 9,700. Please be aware that costs may change. Tuition estimates are for in-district students.