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Career and Education Opportunities for Radiology Technologists in Columbia, Missouri

Radiology technologist career and educational opportunities abound in Columbia, Missouri. The national trend for radiology technologists sees this job pool growing by about 17.2% over the next eight years. In general, radiology technologists take x-rays and Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT or CT) scans or administer nonradioactive materials into patient's blood stream for diagnostic purposes.

A person working as a radiology technologist can expect to earn about $22 per hour or $47,360 annually on average in Missouri and about $25 per hour or $52,210 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Radiology technologists earn less than people working in the category of Radiology generally in Missouri and less than people in the Radiology category nationally. Jobs in this field include: radiologic technologist, registered , mammography technologist, and bone densitometrist.

The Columbia area is home to thirteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree as a radiology technologist. The most common level of education for radiology technologists is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree. It will take about two years to learn to be a radiology technologist if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Radiology Technologist

In general, radiology technologists take x-rays and Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT or CT) scans or administer nonradioactive materials into patient's blood stream for diagnostic purposes. They also includes technologists who specialize in other modalities, such as computed tomography, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance.

Radiology technologists inspect and evaluate developed x-rays or computer generated data to establish if images are satisfactory for diagnostic purposes. They also position and immobilize patients on examining tables. Equally important, radiology technologists have to prepare examination rooms, ensuring that all needed apparatus is ready. They are often called upon to explain procedures and observe patients to insure safety and comfort during scan. They are expected to direct work with clerical personnel or other technologists. Finally, radiology technologists position imaging apparatus and adjust controls to set exposure time and distance, in line with specification of examination.

Every day, radiology technologists are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for radiology technologists to remove and process film. They are often called upon to operate or oversee operation of radiologic and magnetic imaging apparatus to produce images of the body for diagnostic purposes. They also key commands and data into computer to document and specify scan sequences, adjust transmitters and receivers, or photograph certain images. They are sometimes expected to monitor patients' conditions and reactions, reporting abnormal signs to physician. Somewhat less frequently, radiology technologists are also expected to assign duties to radiologic staff to maintain patient flows and achieve production goals.

They also have to be able to take thorough and accurate patient medical histories and demonstrate new apparatus and techniques to staff, and furnish technical assistance. And finally, they sometimes have to operate fluoroscope to assist physician to view and guide wire or catheter through blood vessels to area of interest.

Like many other jobs, radiology technologists must have a strong concern for others and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Columbia include:

  • Radiation Therapist. Provide radiation therapy to patients as prescribed by a radiologist according to established practices and standards. Duties may include reviewing prescription and diagnosis; acting as liaison with physician and supportive care personnel; preparing equipment, such as immobilization, treatment, and protection devices; and maintaining records, reports, and files. May assist in dosimetry procedures and tumor localization.
  • Radiological Technician. Maintain and use equipment and supplies necessary to demonstrate portions of the human body on x-ray film or fluoroscopic screen for diagnostic purposes.
  • Respiratory Therapist. Assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. Assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures; maintain patient records; and select, assemble, and operate equipment.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Radiology Technologist Training

University of Missouri-Columbia - Columbia, MO

University of Missouri-Columbia, 105 Jesse Hall, Columbia, MO 65211. University of Missouri-Columbia is a large university located in Columbia, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,130 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Missouri-Columbia has a bachelor's degree program in Medical Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiation Therapist which graduated twenty-four students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist: The mission of the American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists (ARMRIT) is to recognize individuals qualified as specialists in the use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technology which employs non-ionizing radiation to promote high standards of patient care and safety in the diagnostic medical imaging modality of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technology including interventional MRI, cardiovascular MRI, functional MRI, and MRI breast imaging.

For more information, see the American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists website.

Registered Technologist - Quality Management: The purpose of the ARRT Examination in Quality Management is to assess the knowledge and cognitive skills underlying the performance of the tasks typically required of staff technologists practicing in this specialized area.

For more information, see the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists website.

Registered Technologist - Sonography: The purpose of the ARRT Examination in Sonography is to assess the knowledge and cognitive skills underlying the intelligent performance of the tasks typically required of staff sonographers at entry into the profession.

For more information, see the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists website.

Cardiac-Interventional Technology: The purpose of the ARRT Examination in Cardiac-Interventional Radiography is to assess the knowledge and cognitive skills underlying the intelligent performance of the tasks typically required of technologists employed in this specialized area.

For more information, see the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists website.

Vascular-Interventional Technology: The purpose of the ARRT Examination in Vascular-Interventional Radiography is to assess the knowledge and cognitive skills underlying the intelligent performance of the tasks typically required of technologists employed in this specialized area.

For more information, see the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists website.

Registered Radiologist Assistant: The ARRT's radiologist assistant program incorporates the education, ethics, and exam standards that add up to the ARRT's Equation for Excellence.

For more information, see the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists website.

Biomedical Electronics Technician: Biomedical electronics technicians are expected to obtain knowledge of the principles of modern biomedical techniques, the proper procedure in the care, handling and maintenance of biomedical equipment and to display an attitude/behavior expected of an electronics technician who works in a hospital or healthcare environment.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Registered Ophthalmic Ultrasound Biometrist: Registered Ophthalmic Ultrasound Biometrist (ROUB) includes: Keratometry, Physics, Biometry Instrumentation, Instrument Settings for Biometry, Examination Techniques for Biometry, Sources of Error in Biometry, and Intraocular Lens Power Calculations.

For more information, see the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology website.

Nuclear Cardiology Technologist: Professional certification is a vital component of a successful career.

For more information, see the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Missouri

Columbia, Missouri
Columbia, Missouri photo by Grey_Wanderer

Columbia is situated in Boone County, Missouri. It has a population of over 100,733, which has grown by 19.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Columbia, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbia are valued at $171,800 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-five new homes were constructed in Columbia, down from six hundred fifty-three the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 15 minutes. More than 50.5% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 24.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Columbia is 6.8%, which is less than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.9%, is less than both the national and state average. Sugar Grove Church, Fairview Church and Emmanuel Church are among the churches located in Columbia. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Columbia is home to the Columbia Country Club and the Columbia Plaza as well as Nickell Park and Stephens Park. Shopping centers in the area include Whitegate Shopping Center, North County Shopping Center and Biscayne Mall. Visitors to Columbia can choose from Churchill's, Columbia Super 8 Motel and Arrow Head Motel LLC for temporary stays in the area.