Radiologic Technology

Frequently Asked Questions

Employment and Career Mobility

Many employment opportunities for radiographer exist and are expected to continue. Graduates of an approved program in the immediate geographical area can expect an average beginning salary of $21-$22 per hour. Salary does vary with geographical location, hospital size and level of experience. Completion of the radiographer program provides the possibility of entering areas such as CT, MRI*, Nuclear Medicine, Radiation Therapy*, Diagnostic Medical Sonography*, Mammography* and Interventional Radiography. Formalized education programs are also available in most of the above areas. (* = Programs at Washburn University)

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 tardiness 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.

• Failure of two or more courses results in permanent removal from the radiology course-of-study.

• 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.

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.

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.

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.

Who do I talk to regarding academic advising or questions about the Radiologic Technology Program?

If you are a current student at Washburn, you should contact one of the program faculty to declare pre-radiology as your major course-of-study.  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 from the Student Academics tab, so you know how your college credits fulfill program requirements.

If you are 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/transfer-guide. For transfer of anatomy and physiology credits, contact program faculty.

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
  2. Completion of a minimum of 12 college credit hours applicable to the associate degree.

Contact either radiology faculty if you have questions (hillary.lolley@washburn.edu or jera.roberts@washburn.edu).

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.  Upon completion of written application review, approximately 35 individuals will be invited for an on-campus interview in March. See the application packet for exact interview dates.

Applicants are notified of acceptance or non-acceptance by March 15th via email.

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.

Should I wait to send in my application until all components are completed or mail each part as it is completed?

All application documents must be submitted as one packet. Individual documents sent on multiple occasions are not accepted due to tracking difficulty.

Does the program send out a letter letting me know if my application file has been received?

No, it is your responsibility to follow-up via e-mail to  marie.valdivia@washburn.edu or to  allied-health@washburn.edu.

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.

How many applicants are accepted into the Radiologic Technology program every year?

The program is currently accepting 24 students each fall.

Upon acceptance to the program, when would my radiology classes and the clinical experience begin and end?

This professional program does not follow the traditional University schedule and does require clinical education between semesters. You can find the 2 year schedule for each group of students by clicking on Program Calendars.

The following time off is scheduled (dependent upon University calendar):

  • Fall recess of 1-2 days
  • Thanksgiving recess
  • Fall semester break of 2 weeks
  • Martin Luther King Day
  • Spring break
  • Spring semester break of 1 week
  • Memorial Day
  • July 4th
  • Summer session break of 2 weeks
  • Labor Day

Policies pertaining to vacation, clinical attendance, pregnancy, part-time employment, etc. have been developed and should be reviewed prior to or during the required observation/shadowing. These policies may be found in Sections 1 and 2 of the Program and Clinical Manual which is available at each clinical site or http://www.washburn.edu/academics/college-schools/applied-studies/departments/allied-health/xr/clinical-education.html

What are Educational Costs?

What are Educational Costs?-

  1. Tuition link is located at http://www.washburn.edu/admissions/paying-for-college/financial-aid/index.html
  2. Radiology textbooks; approximately 1st year $1,000; 2nd year $400
  3. Uniforms approximately $300
  4. Criminal background check, plus immunization documentation tracking and drug screening is $96
  5. Health insurance which is mandatory. Proof of coverage must be presented each year prior to clinical education. The university offers coverage for students; students and spouse or child; and family. Contact Student Health for additional information and current premium cost. The level of insurance coverage required is not specified. However, any personal incident/injury is ultimately the student’s responsibility; example is a needle stick or a communicable disease acquired during direct patient care.
  6. Liability insurance; the university carries liability insurance on students during clinical education attendance.
  7. CPR approximately $25
  8. Graduation pin $15
  9. Hepatitis B vaccines approximately $75
  10. All students accepted into this program are expected to become part of the professional community through membership and participation in the Kansas Society of Radiologic Technologists; membership $25 annually
  11. Drug screen as required by clinical education site $25
  12. Identification markers $30
  13. Trajecsys (electronic clinical tracking system) $150
  14. Students will furnish their own transportation to and from the University and clinical education assignments.
  15. Radiation monitoring badge for laboratory sessions $78
  16. Highly recommend a laptop or tablet that can access the internet for in-class testing.
All quoted prices are subject to change without notice.

Clinical Assignment

Radiographer students are assigned to a cluster of radiology facilities for clinical education (patient related) prior to the start of the program. Clinical education provides the opportunity to apply knowledge learned in the classroom and lab setting, as well as development of the necessary skills to be successful as a radiographer. Entry-level skill is mandatory in the areas of patient care, communication, radiation safety, routine and non-routine procedures, professionalism, equipment usage and proper application of radiation. Through assignment at two or more radiology facilities, the radiographer student develops the necessary flexibility and adaptability with exam protocols, equipment, variable patients and different radiologists.

 Students are typically assigned to one primary clinical site for the initial year of the program and then rotate out during the second year for an extended period. Assignment to a secondary clinical site ranges from 8-16 weeks depending on a variety of factors, i.e. pediatric volume.

•When transferring to another clinical site, two documents are completed on the T-system: Orientation (to the applicable site) and Room Rotation Checklist. These documents must be completed in the first two weeks of the new assignment as part of the orientation process.

 Current clinical education assignments:

•Group 1: Atchison (with clinic), Stormont-Vail Health/Cotton-O’Neil Clinic and VAMC (Topeka).

•Group 2: St. Francis Health, Holton Community Hospital, Nemaha Valley Community Hospital and Hiawatha Community Hospital

•Group 3: Geary Community Hospital (with orthopedic clinic) and Via Christi at Manhattan

•Group 4: Truman Medical Centers at Hospital Hill and Lakewood

•Group 5: Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Coffey County Medical Center, Ottawa Family Physicians, and VAMC (Leavenworth)

 CLINICAL EDUCATION SITE DESCRIPTIONS

 Atchison Hospital, Atchison: acute care community hospital and clinic

• 25-bed inpatient facility with emergency department, medical and surgical services

 Coffey County Medical Center, Burlington: acute care community hospital

• 36-bed acute care facility with emergency medical services, medical and surgical services

 Geary Community Hospital, Junction City: acute care community hospital and orthopedic clinic

• 36-bed acute care facility with emergency department, bariatric unit, medical and surgical services

 Hiawatha Community Hospital, Hiawatha: acute care community hospital

• Less than 25-bed facility with emergency department, medical and surgical services

 Holton Community Hospital, Holton: acute care community hospital

• Less than 25-bed facility with emergency department, medical and surgical services

 Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Lawrence: regional hospital

• Over 50-bed acute care with emergency department, medical and surgical services, orthopedics, radiation oncology

 Via Christi, Manhattan: regional hospital

• Over 50-bed acute care with emergency department, medical and surgical services, orthopedics

 Nemaha Valley Community Hospital, Seneca: acute care community hospital

• Less than 25-bed facility with emergency department, medical and surgical services

 Newman Regional Health, Emporia: acute care community hospital and orthopedic clinic

• 25-bed critical access, emergency, medical and surgical services

 Ottawa Family Physicians: family practice office

• Family medicine, i.e. pediatrics, adults, geriatric care, minor surgery, radiology

 St. Francis Health: regional hospital

• Over 100-bed critical access facility with emergency department, medical and surgical services, radiation oncology, dialysis, orthopedics

 Stormont Vail Health and Cotton-O’Neil Clinic: regional hospital and clinic

• Over 100-bed critical access, Level II trauma center, emergency department, medical and surgical services, radiation oncology, orthopedics, neonatal ICU

• Out-patient clinic

 Truman Medical Center (Hospital Hill and Lakewood)

• Over 100 - bed facility with a Level One Trauma Center Designation and dedicated Sickle Cell Disease Center (Hospital Hill), Level Two NICU and joint replacement orthopedic program (Lakewood)

 VA Medical Center, Topeka: medical and surgical facility for veterans

• Acute care and long term care

 VA Medical Center, Leavenworth: medical and surgical facility for veterans

• Acute care and long term care

Program Curriculum

See a sample Degree Plan for the Radiologic Technology major curriculum. Access to the complete 2-Year Plan is located in the “What is Radiologic Technology” section – right hand side of the screen. In order to maintain a position in the professional program, a cumulative grade average of at least C (2.0 grade point) is required. A grade of C or better must be obtained in each major course, required related courses of anatomy and physiology, Freshman Composition and College Algebra.

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

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.

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
 Summary
  • 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.