- Radiologic technologists are healthcare professionals specializing in diagnostic imaging. These imaging modalities include X-ray, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), sonography (ultrasound), and positron emission tomography (PET).
- The United States Bureau in Labor Statistics reported a total of 1,180 technologists working in the State of Rhode Island in 2019(1).
- There is one educational institution that offers a Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging. Meanwhile, two institutions offer certificate programs, while one offers an associate’s degree.
- Among these available radiography and radiology programs in Rhode Island, the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) has accredited only three programs.
- Radiologic Technologists in Rhode Island earn a median annual salary range of $71,340 to $78,280(2).
Best Radiology Schools in RIThe following list comprises schools offering radiography courses through bachelor degree programs, associate degree programs, and certificate programs. The program effectiveness data is retrieved from the latest report from JRCERT(3).
|School||Degree||Program Length||Application Requirements||Program Effectiveness||Location|
|Community College of Rhode Island||Associate degree Certificate program||24 months||High school degree GED completion Prerequisite courses||Pass rate: 93% Completion rate: 81% Job placement rate: 98%||Lincoln|
|Rhode Island College||Bachelor’s degree||TBC||High school degree GED completion Prerequisite courses||Not available||Providence|
|Rhode Island Hospital (Lifespan School of Medical Imaging)||Certificate program||20 months||High school degree GED completion Prerequisite courses||Pass rate: 97% Completion rate: 96% Job placement rate: 99%||Providence|
*Data retrieved on September 25, 2020. Changes may occur when new information comes in. Refer to the official webpage for a comprehensive list of all schools with JRCERT certification.
Associate’s DegreeCommunity College of Rhode Island (CCRI) offers 24-month radiography programs at the Flanagan Campus in Lincoln. The coursework at CCRI prepares students for entry-level radiologic technologists and ultrasound technologist positions by developing critical thinking skills, communication skills, and ethics. CCRI offers several associate degree programs, including diagnostic medical sonography, radiography, respiratory therapy program, histotechnician, and medical laboratory technology. Successful completion of programs leads to an associate of applied science degree. The school has provided technical standard guidelines to qualify for the radiography program, such as strength, mobility, manual dexterity, visual acuity, and ability to communicate orally and in writing. CCRI campuses are located in Warick, Lincoln, and Providence.
Bachelor’s DegreeRhode Island College offers prospects the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging(4). The program of study, consisting of 84 credits, includes coursework on clinical education, radiography principles, radiation physics, and radiography procedures. Students are trained in academic sessions and clinical settings with affiliated health centers. Prospects must complete prerequisite courses in anatomy, physiology, biology, and introduction to radiography to qualify for the program.
Certificate ProgramCommunity College of Rhode Island (CCRI) offers different programs to help radiographers expand their practice scope and apply for higher positions. These certificate programs are computed tomography imaging, magnetic resonance imaging, phlebotomy (phlebotomist), and renal dialysis technology. CCRI has 11 affiliated hospitals, including Kent County Memorial Hospital in Warwick and Veterans Administration Hospital in Providence. Rhode Island Hospital (Lifespan School of Medical Imaging)(5) offers an accredited certificate program in radiography. The program is currently in collaboration with Rhode Island College. Students who completed the certificate program may continue their education at Rhode Island College and earn a Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging. Students enrolled in the programs are expected to serve clinical rotations at 11 affiliated medical facilities and hospitals, including Miriam Hospital and Newport Hospital. Lifespan, a not-for-profit organization, is Rhode Island’s first and largest healthcare system. Its partners include Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Bradley Hospital, and Newport Hospital. How to Become a Radiologic Technologist in RI The length of study of a prospective radiologic technologist or radiographer can vary from two to four years. Prospects in Rhode Island must first earn a high school diploma or a general education degree (GED). Depending on the program, prospects may be required to take prerequisite courses in anatomy, physiology, mathematics, patient care, and health science. Incoming students are also required to undergo a physical examination. Radiographers must have stamina and strength to assist patients during the procedure. Prospects interested in applying for entry-level radiographer positions may enroll in programs that lead to an associate degree. Upon successful completion, the student must pass a state licensure exam by the Rhode Island Department of Health. An associate degree program trains students in radiography and sonography modalities, such as X-ray and ultrasound. Associate degrees can take approximately two years to complete. Associate degree holders who want to major in a particular modality can take the required additional courses that lead to a bachelor’s degree upon successful completion. A bachelor’s degree program trains students in more advanced modalities, such as MRI, fluoroscopy, nuclear medicine technology, and radiation therapy. Earning a bachelor’s degree will take another two years of academic sessions and clinical rotations. Bachelor degree holders must also take the state’s licensure exam to work as a radiologic technologist. The difference between radiography programs and radiology programs is the types of modality learned throughout the coursework. Radiography programs train students in radiographic procedures (X-ray). Individuals who completed radiography programs and pass the ARRT examination can work as fully-licensed radiography technicians (x-ray techs). Meanwhile, radiology or radiologic technology programs train students in nuclear medicine, radiation therapy, and MRI. Graduates from radiology programs can apply for higher-paying radiologic technologist positions.
Accreditation InformationChoosing an accredited program is essential to a prospect’s career. Programs that went through assessment by accreditation agencies protect students from fraud and abuse. The agencies ensure that a standard is maintained and schools are held accountable for their work’s integrity. In the US, there are several accreditation agencies for radiology programs. JRCERT is considered the “gold standard” when it comes to accreditation in radiologic science education. Recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE), JRCERT has 700 accredited programs in the country(6). JRCERT certification ensures that programs are high-quality and only use authoritative resources. In the United States, the best radiography schools have JRCERT certifications. During the accreditation process, JRCERT conducts an assessment, site visits, and inspections at educational institutions. Once the program passes the evaluation, JRCERT will share their program effectiveness data on its website. JRCERT’s program effectiveness data reports on the programs’ five-year outcomes of completion rate, exam pass rate, and job placement rate. Another accreditation body, the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), assesses sonography programs in the US. CAAHEP is also recognized by JRCERT. The Rhode Island Department of Health requires radiography program graduates to pass a state licensure exam. The state exam may be a separate exam conducted or administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). After passing the ARRT exam, prospects become fully-licensed radiologic technicians and radiographers. Students must also be aware that ARRT has a list of recognized radiology programs. Accreditation agencies recognized by ARRT include JRCERT, CAAHEP, regional, and national accreditation agencies. For a full list of ARRT recognized accreditation agencies, please refer to ARRT’s official webpage.
Career Opportunities and SalaryAccording to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), radiologic technologists can look forward to a 7% job outlook for the next ten years. The job growth is attributed to the aging population and rising demand for medical imaging services(7). In 2019, radiologic technicians and radiographers in the US earned a national estimate of $63,120 per year or $30.34 per hour in 2019(8). In Rhode Island, radiologic technologists and MRI technologists earn higher than the national average. The median salary of Rhode Island’s radiologic technologists was around $71,340 to $78,280 per year, as of 2019(9). In 2017, Rhode Island was one of the top five US states with the highest concentration of jobs. During that year, 1,000 radiologic technologists and radiographers were working in the state(10). In 2018, Rhode Island was no longer included in the top five states with the highest concentration of radiologic technologist jobs. However, the number of jobs continued to increase. BLS reported that 1,180 technologists are working in Rhode Island with 1,00 radiologic technologists in Providence and Warwick and 180 in Norwick, New London, and Westerly(11). *Figures from BLS retrieved on September 29, 2020. Figures may change without prior notice.
ConclusionA well-trained radiographer produces optimal images to be studied by radiologists and physicians. An accurately-produced image is crucial in the decision-making process of how a patient will be treated. These factors are why prospects spend years studying, training, and honing their skills before working as professionals in medical imaging centers. Radiographers are not only proficient in operating high-technology imaging equipment but also possess many valuable knowledge and skills. The skills essential to radiology include patient care, body positioning, clinical education, health sciences, and communication. Individuals who want to have a long-term career in radiologic technology may opt for programs that lead to a bachelor’s degree. Meanwhile, prospects who want to apply for entry-level positions can take an associate’s degree first and take additional certificate programs later. In the US, opportunities for radiologic technologists, radiology technicians, radiographers, and X-ray techs continue to grow due to the increasing demands of diagnostic imaging services.
- US Bureau of Labor Statistics 2019. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcma.htm
- JRCERT Program Effectiveness Data. Retrieved from https://www.jrcert.org/find-a-program/
- Rhode Island College. Radiologic Technology Program. Retrieved from http://www.ric.edu/biology/documents/RhodeMapMedicalImagingRADT.pdf
- Lifespan School of Medical Imaging. Retrieved from https://www.lifespan.org/centers-services/lifespan-school-medical-imaging/radiography
- History of JRCERT. Retrieved from https://www.jrcert.org/history/
- US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Radiologic and MRI Technologists Statistics 2019. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/radiologic-technologists.htm#tab-1
- Occupational Employment and Wages. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292034.htm
- US Bureau of Labor Statistics 2019. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcma.htm
- Occupational Employment and Wage (2017). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/oes/2017/may/oes292034.htm#nat
- US Bureau of Labor Statistics 2019. Op cit.