Washington has ten schools that offer radiology-related programs. Students may choose from programs leading to certificates, associate's or bachelor's degrees. Prerequisites to these programs generally include completion of coursework in human anatomy and physiology, chemistry, and high school math and English. Clinical training requirements include passing a criminal background check and having the necessary immunizations.
The Health Sciences, Education & Wellness Institute of Bellevue College (BC) in Bellevue offers a wide range of radiology-related degree programs in radiation and imaging, radiologic technology, nuclear medicine and radiation therapy. At the associate's level, students can choose from programs in radiologic technology, radiation therapy and nuclear medicine technology.
The school also has positron emission tomography (PET), computed tomography imaging (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and vascular interventional certificate programs available. These are advanced practice certificate programs offered to graduates of certain radiology-related associate's degree programs who possess certification in a related discipline, such as radiation therapy, nuclear medicine or radiologic technology.
The school offers a bachelor's degree program in radiation and imaging sciences. This is a continuing education program that is offered only to professionals who possess an associate's degree and certification in radiologic technology, radiation therapy, nuclear medicine or diagnostic ultrasound. The school also offers five concentration options for bachelor's students, including radiation and imaging management, radiation imaging technology, medical dosimetry, radiologist assistant and nuclear medicine. The school also offers a postbaccalaureate advanced practice certificate program in medical dosimetry to certified professionals with at least two years of experience.
Students who complete the nuclear medicine program are qualified to sit for national certification examinations from the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board (NMTCB) and ARRT. The medical dosimetry program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). The radiologist assistant program is endorsed by ARRT.
Bellingham Technical College
Located in Bellingham, Bellingham Technical College offers an associate's degree program in radiologic technology that's designed to meet the standards set by ARRT. This program is offered during the day, evenings and online; however, clinical portions of this program must be completed in person. Clinical shifts run between eight and 12 hours long. This school has an agreement with Bellevue College that allows students to transfer to the bachelor's degree program in radiation and imaging sciences after completing the associate's program at Bellingham Technical College.
Columbia Basin College
Columbia Basin College in Pasco offers a limited x-ray machine operator certificate program and an associate's degree program in radiologic technology. Both programs cover radiographic technology, procedure and positioning, and students must also take part in clinical experiences. The associate's degree program provides more advanced coursework in technology and procedures and offers more clinical experiences than the certificate program. Graduates of the associate's degree program are qualified to apply for ARRT certification.
The school also offers four short-term certificate programs in bone densitometry, computed tomography technology, magnetic resonance imaging technology and mammography. Certificate programs are offered to technologists who are already ARRT-certified in radiography, radiation therapy or nuclear medicine. These are advanced practice certificate programs intended to qualify the graduate for advanced ARRT certifications.
Spokane Community College
An associate's degree program in radiology technology is offered at the Spokane campus of Spokane Community College (SCC). SCC's radiology program is accredited by JRCERT. Students take courses in radiographic positioning, image evaluation and radiographic principles. The school also offers clinical training at nine sites in the region. Graduates are qualified to seek ARRT certification.
Tacoma Community College
Tacoma Community College's radiologic science associate's degree program is provided at the campus in Tacoma. This program is JRCERT-accredited and includes courses in radiation physics, radiographic positioning, radiographic principles, radiographic imaging and clinical training. Graduates should be qualified to sit for the ARRT certification exam.
Wenatchee Valley College
Situated in Wenatchee, Wenatchee Valley College offers an associate's degree program in radiologic technology. This program covers radiation physics, principles of radiation exposure, radiographic positioning and imaging and radiographic pathology. Some of the clinical training experiences may be located away from the town, and students are required to have their own transportation. Graduates are eligible to apply for ARRT certification.
Yakima Valley Community College
This Yakima college provides an associate's degree program in radiologic sciences and a certificate program in computed tomography. Applicants to both programs are required to have CPR certification. Applicants to the CT program must have an associate's degree in radiology and be ARRT certified. Graduates of the associate's degree program are qualified to sit for the ARRT certification examination, while graduates of the CT program are qualified to take the ARRT examination in CT. Students in the associate's program may complete their clinical experiences at five different locations.
Washington requires radiology technologists to be licensed. Licensing requirements include graduation from an approved program in a radiology discipline. The state has alternative options for those who haven't completed an approved program by passing one of the acceptable exams or possessing certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Applicants for state licensure must submit to background checks and have no chemical dependency or substance abuse issues. Those pursuing licensure as radiologic assistants must complete a program accredited by ARRT and pass an exam.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Radiology Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Bellevue College||4-year, primarily associate's, public; midsize city|| Associate in Arts in Radiologic Technology,
Associate in Arts in Radiation Therapy,
Associate in Arts in Nuclear Medicine Technology,
Certificate of Accomplishment in Positron Emission Tomography,
Certificate of Achievement in Computer Tomography Imaging,
Certificate of Accomplishment in Magnetic Resonance Imaging,
Certificate of Accomplishment in Vascular Interventional Program,
Bachelor of Applied Science in Radiation and Imaging Sciences,
Certificate of Achievement in Medical Dosimetry
|$3,619 in-state; $8,957 out-of-state*|
|Bellingham Technical College||2-year, public; small city||Associate in Applied Science in Radiologic Technology||$3,389 in-state; $8,728 out-of-state*|
|Columbia Basin College||4-year, public; midsize suburb|| Associate in Applied Science in Radiologic Technology,
Bone Densitometry Short-Term Certificate,
Computed Tomography Technology Short-Term Certificate,
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technology Short-Term Certificate,
Mammography Short-Term Certificate
|$4,194 in-state; $6,189 out-of-state*|
|Spokane Community College||2-year, public; midsize city||Associate in Applied Science in Radiology Technology||$3,388 in-state; $8,726 out-of-state*|
|Tacoma Community College||2-year, public; midsize city||Associate in Applied Science in Radiologic Science||$4,194 in-state; $9,354 out-of-state*|
|Wenatchee Valley College||2-year, public; small city||Associate of Technical Sciences in Radiologic Technology||$3,800 in-state; $4,234 out-of-state*|
|Yakima Valley Community College||4-year, public; small city|| Associate of Applied Sciences in Radiologic Sciences,
Computed Tomography Certificate
|$4,225 in-state; $4,626 out-of-state*|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.