Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who do I talk to regarding academic advising or questions about the Radiologic Technology Program?
If a current student at Washburn, you may declare the AS in Radiologic Technology as your major from the Student Academics tab on My Washburn. This will assign you to program faculty for all advising. When setting a meeting or requesting enrollment information, be certain to include your WIN in the email. Prior to an academic advising session with faculty be certain to run a Degree Audit for the AS in Radiologic Technology, so you know how your college credits fulfill program requirements.
If not a student at Washburn, contact either listed faculty member in the Radiologic Technology Program by email or phone. When meeting with faculty be certain to bring an unofficial transcript to the advising session, so accurate information can be discussed. You may also see how your college credits transfer by going to www.washburn.edu - select "A-Z Index" and then "Transfer information". Now select "Transfer Guide" and the applicable college(s) you've attended to see if University Requirements and General Education Requirements are complete. For transfer of anatomy and physiology, contact program faculty.
2. What are the characteristics of a successful Radiologic Technology student?
Students in this professional program must have the ability to learn a physics-based curriculum, along with providing direct patient care. We are a hands-on profession, meaning technologists physically touch patients of the same and opposite gender during imaging exams (non-surgical). Accepted students must possess a high level of initiative/motivation to learn and be involved in patient examinations. One must be able to accept responsibility for their actions (no excuses). Good time management is necessary. Remember you are in the learning mode, so a willingness to accept constructive criticism regarding development of your clinical skills must be present. Being adaptable which means able to adjust to varying patient situations, technologists and radiologists. Students must be able to think outside the box, i.e. the textbook. Good communication skills in the classroom, laboratory and clinical settings is necessary. A student must keep tardies and absences to a minimum in classroom, laboratory and clinical courses. The physical ability to be on your feet most of the day when assigned to clinical education is important.
Points to Consider:
- Involvement in the program does require a full-time commitment between classes, labs and clinical hours (patient care). Depending upon the semester, weekly clinical assignment ranges from 16-32 hours. As such, there are many demands on a student’s time. Working too many hours and/or excessive outside obligations will make it difficult to finish the program.
- There is a large amount of information that must be understood and retained for patient-related performance. Regular time must be devoted to studying and practicing. In a professional program such as radiology, previous effective study habits may require modification. The goal is to provide quality patient care in a safe manner, so simply learning the material for the current exam or course is not enough. Counseling Services Office does provide assistance in areas such as fine-tuning existing study strategies, time management proficiency and test-taking skill.
- Attention to detail and concentration along with organizational ability is highly important in radiology, since images for medical diagnoses are being created by the student technologist. However, there is a limited amount of time that can be allotted for each patient’s exam. A perfect x-ray image is not the goal, but creation of a quality image is mandatory. Likewise, an attitude of “that’s close enough” doesn’t fit with good patient care and formation of a quality image.
- You are entering a profession that provides patient care 24/7. A typical health care facility staffs technologists on day hours, as well as evening and late night shifts including weekends and holidays. A Monday through Friday daytime position is not common in radiology.
- Upon completion of the program, one must pass the national certification examination in order to be employable. The profession of radiology also requires commitment to lifelong learning. In order to maintain one’s national registration status, mandatory continuing education is necessary. The profession of radiology is constantly changing and a technologist must be current on their information and skills.
3. Would I be exposed to blood or needles in this profession?
Yes, radiologic technologists routinely work with trauma patients and are exposed to blood and body fluids such as vomit. Technologists also perform examinations that require the insertion and usage of needles. A mandatory venipuncture rotation is required during the second year which enables students to learn proper technique.
4. Can the program be completed on-line?
No. The major courses are only offered on campus. It may be possible for you to complete some general education, required related courses, etc. as an on-line format.
5. Can the program be completed on a part-time basis or an evening basis?
No. If accepted to the program, you must complete the program as stated in the Sample Curriculum listed below. Since the majority of patient exams are done during weekday hours, the program is offered primarily during the weekday. A small percentage of clinical is required during the evening hours.
*Any remaining University requirements, general education courses or required related courses will be added to the stated semesters below.
6. How do I apply to the Radiologic Technology program at Washburn?
The Radiographer Program Application is available in a printable pdf format. Students are encouraged to visit with program faculty regarding transfer credits and/or course enrollment. Prerequisites for program application include: 1) Cumulative grade point average of 2.80 or higher and 2) Completion of a minimum of 12 college credit hours applicable to the associate degree. Contact either radiology faculty if you have questions (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com).
7. When is the application deadline for the Radiologic Technology program?
February 1st is the deadline for completed applications of the year in which entry is desired. You may send the required paperwork by either regular mail or hand delivered to Benton hall, Room 107. Applicants are notified of acceptance or non-acceptance by March 15th via email.
8. Does human anatomy have to be completed prior to program application?
No, human anatomy can be completed prior to application, during the spring semester of application or during the summer session. However, human anatomy must be completed with a “C” or higher grade prior to the fall semester of entry.
9. How many applicants are accepted into the Radiologic Technology program every year?
The program is currently accepting 23-24 students each fall.
10. Should I wait to send in my application until all components are completed or mail each part as it is completed?
It is preferred that you send material as soon as it is completed, however either method is fine. Once the program receives the Radiographic Program Application document, a file is started in your name. Future documents received will be added to the existing file.
11. Does the program send out a letter letting me know if my application file is complete?
No, it is your responsibility to follow-up on your application via e-mail to the secretary firstname.lastname@example.org or to email@example.com.
12. How is my application evaluated?
The Radiologic Technology Admissions' Committee is composed of program faculty, as well as representatives from the clinical education settings. Application review focuses on two areas: academics and patient care related traits. Academics are a consideration since the program is physics-based and there is a requirement of passing a national certification examination at the program's conclusion. Patient care-related abilities include good communication, high level of initiative and ethics, having the ability to problem-solve, complete tasks in a timely manner and being able to apply learned knowledge to actual patient care.
13. Upon acceptance to the program, when would my radiology classes and clinicals begin and end?
As the program requires clinical attendance between semesters, you can find the 2 year schedule for each group of students schedule by clicking on Program Calendars.
14. How are clinical assignments determined?
Individuals indicate their preference for clinical placement on the Radiographer Program Application (located in the application packet). Accepted students are ranked according to their resulting score from the process of application review and evaluation. Program faculty then make clinical placement assignments, seeking as close a match as possible with the students' preferences. Example: Lawrence Memorial Hospital receives 4 radiology students; however, 6 accepted students listed them as choice number one. The four students with the highest application scores will be assigned to Lawrence.
15. Program Curriculum
First Semester (12 credit hours)
AL101 Foundations of Health Care (3)
AL120 Radiographic Procedures and Patient Care I plus lab (3)
AL130 Radiographic Exposure I plus lab (3)
AL134 Radiology Clinical I (3); approximately 248 clock hours
Second Semester (12 credit hours)
AL121 Radiographic Procedures and Patient Care II plus lab (3)
AL131 Radiographic Exposure II plus lab (3)
AL135 Radiology Clinical II (3); approximately 360 clock hours
AL320 Human Disease (3)
Third Semester (Summer) (5 credit hours)
AL231 Radiation Protection and Biological Effects (2)
AL236 Radiology Clinical III (3); approximately 300 clock hours
Fourth Semester (8 credit hours)
AL220 Radiographic Procedures III (2)
AL230 Radiologic Equipment Operation (2)
AL237 Radiology Clinical IV (4); approximately 440 clock hours
Fifth Semester (6 credit hours)
AL238 Radiology Clinical V (4); approximately 408 clock hours
AL321 Advanced Radiographic Imaging (2)
43 credit hours (listed above)
72 credit hours total for the Associate of Science Degree
16. What is a Typical Day for a Radiologic Technologist?
Patient exams start at 8:00AM with a chest exam order which must be done with a mobile unit
- Gather equipment including a lead apron
- Push a mobile unit to intensive care
- Verify the correct patient and then explain the exam to the patient who is semi-alert due to medication
- Move the mobile unit into position, shield patient, expose and process the image
- Radiologist diagnosis: Congestive heart failure
In-patient chest order on a 40-year old
- Verify the order via the chart and prepare the exam room
- Greet and identify the correct patient
- Push the wheelchair to the exam room and ask their medical history
- Assist the patient to a standing position since they are having difficulty moving and then correctly place the gonadal shielding
- The patient complains of dizziness and feeling faint, so they are assisted by the technologist
- Position the patient, maneuver the x-ray equipment and process the image
- Clean the exam room
- Radiologist diagnosis: Right-sided pneumonia
Out-patient foot order on a 4-year old
- Greet the patient and their parent
- Verify the correct study and then explain the procedure
- Correctly place gonadal shielding on the patient
- Position the young patient who has difficulty holding still
- Move all associated x-ray equipment and then process the image
- Clean the exam room
- Radiologist diagnosis: Normal foot exam
Emergency room order for a lumbar spine on a 75-year old
- Greet and identify the correct patient, then obtain the medical history which is lower back pain due to a fall
- Push the stretcher to the exam room and transfer the patient onto the x-ray table
- Position the patient who has increased pain, move the x-ray equipment and process the image. Clean the exam room.
- Radiologist diagnosis: Compression fracture of L2
Upper gastrointestinal (Upper GI) study
- Prepare barium contrast and ready the fluoroscopic room
- Greet the patient and explain the exam
- The technologist puts on a lead apron and then provides support to the radiologist during the study which is done in dimmer lighting
- The technologist helps the patient who had become nauseated and then vomits
- Position the patient, moving the x-ray equipment into position and processing the images. Clean the room.
- Radiologist diagnosis: Normal study of the esophagus and stomach
Surgery procedure to repair a fracture
- Technologist changes into clean, surgical scrubs and adds a cap and mask
- Pushes a mobile fluoroscopy unit into the surgical suite, avoiding all tables which contain sterile instruments
- Lead apron is worn for the duration of the procedure which may be lengthy
- Communicate with the orthopedic surgeon so that the correct area is imaged
- Radiologist diagnosis: Surgical fixation device inserted into left lower leg with correct alignment
- The above scenarios are repeated multiple times daily with a variety of patient ages and physical abilities.
- Communication occurs not only with patients and family members, but other health care professionals and physicians.
- The technologist performs a variety of physical tasks including reaching up to operate the x-ray tube, driving the mobile unit, bending down to remove wheelchair foot supports, bending over to assist the patient, moving the patient from stretcher to the x-ray table, etc. Much time is spent walking from one area to another, as well as standing for long periods. Lead aprons are worn for an extended amount of time. Moderate strength factor is required ranging from 25-50 pounds.
- The technologist follows policies and procedures to reduce exposure to a variety of communicable diseases and body fluids.
- The technologist works in varying conditions such as bright light to dim light, background noise, etc.
- The technologist operates computer-based equipment.
- Must be able to respond to any patient situation such as vomiting, diabetic situations, bleeding, difficulty breathing, pain, etc.
- The technologist must complete all tasks in a reasonable amount of time, so that patient exams are completed in an efficient manner.
- The technologist is responsible for adequate supplies and linens in each exam room, as well as cleaning the room after each patient exam is complete.
17. What is your policy/procedure to transfer from my current radiographer program to your radiographer program?
The Transfer Policy/Procedures information will guide you through the process of transferring to the Washburn University's Radiographer program from another Radiographer program.