CAT scan courses are usually offered as part of an associate's degree program in radiographic technology, medical imaging or computed tomography. Training prepares graduates to sit for a national certification examination offered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Certificate programs are also available at many colleges, which can be completed in under two years. Some educational programs require applicants to have a specified number of hours working in a patient care setting, with some of those hours in a radiology department.
Here is an outline of common concepts taught in CAT scan courses:
- History of nuclear technology
- Nuclear applications in medicine
- Machine operations
- Image assessment
- Safety and preparation
- Radiographic techniques
- Ethical conduct
- Localizing images
List of Common Courses
Fundamentals of Radiologic Technology Course
This introductory course covers the history of x-rays, their integration into health care and current standards in radiology. Lessons discuss various types of imaging examinations. Students explore the role of the radiology department in hospitals, universities and other settings. They also study the principles, operation, maintenance and safety issues that come with using radiologic technology.
Introduction to Computed Tomography
Students learn the use, operation and techniques of a CAT scan, including the assessment and preparation of patients. Instructors introduce them to the equipment and teach them how to measure dosage, position patients and control image quality.
Radiation Exposure and Protection Course
The theories and practices of x-ray exposure and protection are discussed in this course. Participants review the methods for protecting both patient and technologist from radiation. They learn about the permissible level of dosage and the safe operation of equipment. This course also explores sources of artificial and natural radiation and their effects on human tissues, cells and organs.
Radiographic Positioning Course
The proper positioning of patients during radiographic examinations is vital to a successful image. This course teaches anatomy and the techniques for positioning individuals for respiratory, skull, spine, pelvic, abdomen and other types of imaging examinations. Individuals learn to evaluate images to determine whether correct positioning has been achieved.
Radiographic Equipment and Operation Course
This course looks at how radiographic equipment operates and how it generates radiation that produces the images. It also covers the maintenance of radiographic devices. Students discuss the function, design and safety issues surrounding the radiographic tube. They learn about the theories of photo interaction in patients and compare the various frequency generators that determine the level of radiation.
Patient Care Course
Participants study the importance of patient care and safety, learning how to monitor vital signs and calm nervous patients. This course covers precautionary techniques as well as emergency medical skills.