Radiologist Assistant Career – Overview
With the increasing demands and technology in the healthcare sector, the radiology team may need advanced assistance.
That’s why a radiologist assistant can be of great help to improve efficiency and patient care. Furthermore, RA can also provide exceptional care for the patients.
As per reports, on a scale of 5, the respondent’s mean score for satisfaction from RA was 4.89.
All this shows how satisfied patients can be in terms of services provided by a Radiologist assistant.
It is one of the most advanced positions you can go for in Radiology apart from a Radiologist physician career.
This position requires individuals to perform several procedures related to a radiologist’s work.
Furthermore, RAs are crucial members of a medical team. They access and manage patients while also performing specific clinical procedures.
It is a rewarding career that can help you advance in your profession.
It’s a fairly new established profession that came with the purpose to help radiologists with their day-to-day activities and workload.
For undertaking the radiologist assistant profession, you will need high training and thorough knowledge of radiographic physics, anatomy, and radiology techniques.
Let’s learn more about this profession and how you can get into it.
What is a Radiologist Assistant?
The Radiologist Assistant profession is the one where you have to perform radiological procedures for diagnosing different types of illnesses and conditions in patients.
Furthermore, this profession also makes you responsible for diagnosing illnesses with a radiologist, evaluating images, and ordering the necessary additional images.
As a radiologist assistant, you will also have to maintain and adjust imaging equipment, prepare patients for procedures and answer their queries.
In addition to that, you will also have to care for the patients and shield the areas that don’t require imaging, update patients’ medical records, and operate the machines.
To advance in this career, you need to have patience, compassion, good interpersonal skills, physical strength, and communication skills.
In addition, you will also need to be dedicated and follow all the safety measures strictly to avoid radiation and contamination.
8 Steps To Become A Radiologist Assistant
You need a bachelor’s degree to become a radiologist assistant.
You also need to know the specific medical software, electronic medical records, information management, film processing, information retrieval, and data entry software.
Below are the steps, including the qualifications you need to become a radiologist assistant.
1. Perform Radiologic Technologist Program Training
The first step to becoming a radiologist assistant is to complete your training as a radiologic technologist.
While radiography associate’s degree programs are prevalent, applicants may need to have a bachelor’s degree for many RA programs.
A mix of didactic coursework and clinical experiences are included in radiologic technologist programs.
To become a Registered Technologist, graduates should study for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) exam.
2. Get Certification and License
Up to three months before graduating from a radiologic technology school, you can apply for the ARRT exam.
You will be contacted with information on arranging an exam after your application’s approval. The computer-based exam must be completed within 90 days.
Within three weeks of taking the exam, you will receive your official results.
If you pass the exam, you will be able to work as Registered Technologist. You have two additional chances to pass the exam if you don’t pass on the first attempt.
Graduates must also obtain a license from the state in which they intend to work.
Evidence of completion of an acceptable education program and passing the ARRT exam is generally included in licensing applications.
3. Obtain a Radiologist Assistant Degree
Either a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree can be accomplished as a radiologist assistant. Master’s degree programs require you to have a bachelor’s degree.
Advanced coursework in healthcare leadership, anatomy and physiology, radiographic positioning, patient care, image evaluation, and imaging procedures are typically included in programs.
You will also need to get certifications for supervised clinical internships.
4. Complete a Preceptorship
You must complete at least 500 total cases, separated into various categories, as well as 36 clinical procedures, according to AART.
ARRT establishes the preceptorship requirements that state the procedures you must know. This job experience occasionally is conducted alongside a radiologist assistant program.
5. Attain Radiologist Assistant Certification
To become a radiologist assistant, you need to pass a second ARRT examination after completing the preceptorship.
Compared to the radiographer exam, the RRA certification exam is longer and includes both multiple-choice and case study questions.
Furthermore, this exam is computer-based and takes place at testing centers in the country.
6. Get State Licensure
Although the ARRT establishes model requirements for RA licensure, state-by-state licensing regulations differ.
However, registration with ARRT, completion of a radiologist assistant program, and ACLS certification are all common prerequisites.
7. Start With The Career
There are several opportunities for you as a radiologist assistant. You can specialize in some clinical areas and work for doctors or hospitals, etc.
There are several other options to advance in an entire department, perform research or teach at a university or college.
Your career advancement as a radiologist assistant also depends on your interests, skills, and abilities. Furthermore, it will also determine your salary.
Let’s get details of the salary and earnings of a radiologist assistant.
Salary of A Radiologist Assistant
At the beginning of the career, a radiology assistant may expect to make between $60,000 to $80,000 per year.
However, the average annual earnings for all radiology assistants is $102,972, according to the American Society of Radiologic Technologists.
Hence, you may easily earn a six-figure salary in this career if you get some amount of experience.
When it comes to the radiology field, salary also depends on the location. As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top states in the radiology field are Massachusetts, Oregon, Colorado, California, and Washington.
In general, you’ll earn more in larger cities, but the cost of living is also higher in these areas. Hence, your net profit could be higher in a more rural location.
The jobs of radiologist assistants are growing and may continue to grow more in the coming future. Furthermore, the number of diseases and illnesses is increasing day by day.
Hence, you will need to prepare better if you aim to become a radiologist assistant. Hope this article helps you gain valuable information on your career as a radiologist assistant.