Master's degree programs are the most commonly offered for those looking to become radiologist assistants. These programs are designed to provide licensed radiologic technologists with advanced training in the field of medical imaging, which can lead to advanced positions within radiology departments in hospitals and healthcare centers. Prerequisites include a bachelor's degree and two years (or 2,000 hours) of experience working as a certified radiologic technologist.
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Master's Degree for Radiology Assistants
Master's degree programs for aspiring radiology assistants use various approaches to teaching in which students are expected to gain an understanding of the advanced role of a radiology assistant through studying advanced medical procedures, medical imaging pattern recognition, radiation physics and more. Program graduates can gain certification through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.
Most of the courses included within a radiology assistant degree program involve seminars, classroom lectures and group work. However, such programs do end with a clinical capstone experience. Some specific courses that might be included are listed below:
- Radiation safety
- Advanced medical terminology
- Clinical pharmacology
- Management of radiology service
- Radiologic trends, research methods and case studies
- Interventional procedures and radiology and digital management
A radiologist assistant works under the direct supervision of a licensed radiologist, taking a more advanced role in patient assessment, patient preparation and diagnostic testing than a regular radiologic technologist. The position of radiology assistant is relatively new to the healthcare field and was introduced as a way to ease the shortage of radiologists working in hospitals and healthcare centers. While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have specific data for radiologist assistants, it did report that employment for radiologic technologists is predicted to rise by 9% between 2014 and 2024.
Much like radiologic technologists and technicians, radiologic assistants can gain certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). States administer ARRT examinations to eligible applicants.
Students pursuing a master's in order to become radiologist assistants must go through a two-year program wherein they gain clinical experience. Students learn a range of topics, from radiation safety to radiologic trends.