Choosing the Florida Radiologic Technology Program That’s Right for You
The healthcare industry is known to be heavily regulated across the United States, but even more so in Florida. Despite being a state with considerable demand for medical services, strict oversight has prevented the expansion of healthcare facilities, particularly hospitals and specialized centers that are not affiliated with integrated healthcare delivery institutions such as the Jackson Health System of Miami, but this situation is about to change. State legislators in Tallahassee have given considerable votes to HB 21, also known as the Hospital Licensure bill, a law intended to relax the construction of new healthcare facilities.
With more deregulation proposals planned for the future, Florida residents will benefit from a greater choice of healthcare facilities, and this translates into more job opportunities for radiologic technology professionals. Once HB 21 and similar laws are signed into law by Governor DeSantis, new treatment facilities will be built and staffing needs will have to be addressed. As can be imagined, many positions will open for medical imaging professionals, including radiologic technologists.
Notwithstanding the increased job demand created by HB 21, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that demand for medical imaging technicians will increase by 14 percent between over the next seven years, which suggests faster growth than the average demand for all other occupations. Florida is the third state in terms of demand for radiologic technology professionals with more than 13,500 jobs filled in this capacity.
Understanding the Dynamic Field of Medical Imaging
In essence, medical imaging involves capturing and displaying visual representations of human anatomy, specifically the interior physiology of organs and tissues. Medical imaging aims to measure and record images as well as data; the goal is to provide non-invasive diagnostic methods to enhance treatment.
When looking at other healthcare professions, medical imaging is a field that combines technology with direct patient care. Medical imaging is a dynamic field that has experienced constant technological advancement since the X-ray wavelength was discovered in the late 19th century. Aside from radiography, other medical imaging technologies include:
- Magnetic resonance imaging
The scope of diagnostic information that can be gleaned from medical imaging is extensive. Until the middle of the 20th century, diagnostic imaging was mostly in orthopedic and pre-surgical settings; nowadays, physicians and therapists take advantage of imaging for various treatment and therapeutic outcomes.
What Radiologic Technology Entails
The operation of medical imaging devices for diagnostic purposes is in the purview of radiologic technologists. A few decades ago, these professionals were called X-ray technicians because they mostly operated radiography equipment; these days, however, they may also operate mammography, tomography and magnetic resonance imaging machines. Although the most common workplace assignments for these professionals are within healthcare facilities, they may also work in settings where direct patient care is not required; for example, they may be assigned to devise repair or manufacturing operations. If you would like to learn more about the various jobs you can pursue with a radiologic technology degree, get in touch with an admissions counselor at Florida National University.
Becoming a Radiologic Technician
In Florida and many other states, radiology technologists are required to complete a college degree program before they are eligible to pursue licensing and certification. More importantly, the school granting such degrees must be duly accredited by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Florida National University holds proper ARRT accreditation to grant Diagnostic Medical Sonographer and Radiologic Technology degrees at the associate of science level.
Radiology technicians must pass the ARRT National Certifying Examination before they can take the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Service General License Examination. The FNU Associate of Science Degree in Radiologic Technology prepares students to take these two exams with courses such as:
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Human Biology
- Radiation Protection and Radiobiology
- Radiographic Pathology
- Patient Care Procedures
To complete this program, students must earn a minimum of 86 credits, which include a General Education Component. The clinical practice portion of this program features 600 hours of rotations at local healthcare facilities. Some courses, particularly those related to the general education requirement, can be taken online. FNU offers night classes at two campus locations in Miami and Hialeah; this is ideal for prospective students who are currently working and have family obligations. We offer flexible schedules, financial assistance, and scholarships to qualified students.
FNU is proud to hold a Military Friendly® Schools designation. Military members who are in active duty, reserve or veteran status are welcome to inquire about our program. If you were a medic, combat lifesaver or hospital corpsman, you can expand your job prospects as a radiologic technologist, digital medical sonographer, or clinical echocardiography technician.
The first step towards entering the medical imaging field starts with contacting an admissions adviser at Florida National University. We are an accredited private college with an athletics program, community outreach and vibrant student life. Keep in mind that the BLS figures for radiology technician salaries in 2019 were $50,220 per year on average.