Practitioners in the field of radiology include radiologists, who are medical doctors, and radiologic technologists, who operate the radiologic equipment, like X-ray machines and CT scanners. Continuing education (CE) for the radiologist is more commonly known as continuing medical education (CME), and radiologists must complete a given number of radiology CME hours each year to maintain certification. Radiologic technicians can pursue voluntary certifications to gain employment and must complete continuing education to maintain their certification.
Before professionals can engage in CE programs they must have completed an accredited program, any necessary internships, residencies or on the job training. Radiologists need to be medical doctors and radiologic technicians must have an associate's degree or bachelor's degree.
Radiologist Career and Continuing Education Overview
A radiologist is a medical doctor who is a radiology specialist; he or she diagnoses a variety of diseases utilizing equipment which produces images via X-rays, sound waves and radioactive substances. Specialties can include radiation oncology or diagnostic radiology; certifications may be in areas such as nuclear radiology. If the doctor wants to sub-specialize in an area of radiology, he or she may elect to take part in a fellowship program. Continuing medical education courses may be offered online, at universities, through clinics or in vacation settings. Continuing medical education topics may include:
- Vascular interpretation
- Brain magnetic resonance spectroscopy
- Radiology life support
- Breast cancer treatment
- Kidney tumor ablation
Radiologic Technologist Career Overview
A radiologic technologist, also known as a radiographer, operates the equipment that generates the X-ray images. Radiologic technologists use their knowledge of and follow guidelines for a procedure, adjusting equipment and controls and setting the exposure times for the best image results. They often specialize in radiographic equipment.
After completing an accredited program, radiologic technologists may pursue voluntary certification through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT); many states utilize the registry's exams for licensing purposes, and most employers prefer to employ certified radiologic technologists. Continuing education courses help radiologic technologists stay abreast of advances in technology. Completion of continuing education is required in order to maintain certification and may be done online or on campus. To ensure credit for continuing education the event or course should be approved by the ARRT. Courses for radiologic technologists might cover:
- Mobile radiography
- Drug administration for radiologists
- Abdominal imaging with intervention
- Cross-sectional imaging
- Symposium on molecular imaging
- ECG interpretation
Continuing education is not only necessary for radiologists and radiologic technologists to stay up to date with advanced radiologic technology and procedures, but is required to maintain certification.