Computed Tomography Technologist (CT)
The Computed Tomography program meets the American Registry of Radiologic Technologist ("ARRT") requirements for graduates pursuing an ARRT certification. The program is designed to prepare students to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to operate diagnostic imaging equipment and produce high-quality medical images that can help healthcare providers diagnose and treat a wide range of medical conditions.
A Computed Tomograpry Technologist ("CT Tech") generally requires previously holding a Radiology Technologist (RT) or Nuclear Medicine Technologist (NucMed) credential from a registry that certifies the profession, such as ARRT or NMTCB. CT Techs are important members of the imaging department as they work closely with Radiologists to produce to detect pathology that may be missed by a conventional radiograph. Studying to obtain the CT scan modality involves having previous knowledge about human anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, and diagnostic imaging procedures, and developing the technical skills necessary to operate imaging equipment and maintain patient safety. Our program further provides students this essential knowledge and skill to ensure the graduate's future patients receive high-quality imaging services and that healthcare providers have the information they need to provide the best possible care to their patients.
The purpose of ARRT certification and registration in CT is to recognize individuals who are qualified to perform the role of a Computed Tomographer. To earn this certification, you will FIRST have to obtain ARRT credentials in an ARRT supporting category.
As a CT Tech, your responsibilities include:
Preparing patients for imaging exams: CT Techs must ensure that patients are properly positioned and prepared for imaging exams, which may involve explaining the procedure, removing jewelry or other objects, and assisting with the use of contrast agents.
- Injecting contrast: CT Techs may be required to inject contrat into patient's bloodstream for better quality or detail of the images produced. Having a venipucture certification will be required to perform this task. As a current or prior radiographer, CT Techs may have already completed this certification as well.
Operating CT imaging equipment: CT Techs are responsible for operating imaging equipment, such as the CT scanner. This involves programming the machine with the proper parameters and monitor the scan, to produce high-quality images of the patient's body.
- Analyzing images: CT Techs must have the ability to interpret images produced by the CT scanner and identify any abnormalities. This is not to say CT Techs actually diagnose any medical conditions, but rather understand their images to communicate with the radiologist or physician.
Maintaining imaging equipment: Radiologic technologists must ensure that imaging equipment is properly maintained and functioning correctly. This may involve performing regular maintenance and repairs, as well as troubleshooting equipment malfunctions.
Ensuring patient safety: Radiologic technologists must take precautions to ensure the safety of patients and themselves during imaging exams. This may involve using radiation shielding, minimizing radiation exposure, and following strict safety protocols.
Communicating with healthcare providers: Radiologic technologists may need to communicate with healthcare providers, such as radiologists and physicians, about the results of imaging exams and any concerns related to the patient's health.
Class Structure and Delivery:
All lectures are delivered in a blended format. Blended courses combine traditional face-to-face classroom instruction with (remote) live-streamed lectures to optimize the learning experience and offer additional time flexibility to those students with busy schedules or long commutes. It is also through in-class lab where students will gain more knowledge, skills and confidence to perform actual medical imaging diagnostics in various settings to prepare them for real medical diagnostics during the clinical rotations.
Program Completion Time
Diploma - 3.5 months / 15 weeks / 195 hours
Basic Program Requirements
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Have a current and active certification with ARRT or NMT in the capacity of:
Radiography (X-Ray Technologist) OR;
Nuclear Medicine Technologist OR;
Why a Certification in Computed Tomography?
Just like many other medical imaging modalities, CT scans are becoming significantly essential over the past decade and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field is projected to grow steadily at about 7% per year by 2029. Having the initial foundation in RT or NM will increase the demand for well-rounded technologists specializing in multiple modalities including CT Scans, Mammography, and even Nuclear Medicine.
Computed Tomography can be right for you if:
- You enjoy Career Stability: It is well-known Radiologic Technologists who hold additional certifications in CT are in high demand and still expected to grow over time. This means that there is a good amount of job security and stability.
You are Attracted to Competitive Salaries: RT's are typically well-compensated for the essential work they perform. Salaries have been on the rise for RT's who also hold a CT certification as the demand for medical imaging increases.
You are Fascinated by Medical Technology: Even if you DO NOT have any background in medical imaging you will be amazed at how using technology can save countless lives. If that is the case, it is highly recomended you begin your education in Radiology or Nuclear Medicine, and propel your career even further to Computed Tomography.
You Like Advancement: Overtime RT's and CT Techs continue to further their careers in radiologic technology by achieving additional related specialties in Mammography, Nuclear Medicine, or pursue certifications in MRI.
You Want a Rewarding Profession: There is nothing more rewarding in healthcare than being one of many professionals who contributes to provide a better way of life to a patient. Helping patients and contributing to their overall health and well-being by producing images, is a very specialized skill that physicians and surgeon highly rely on to make crititical medical decisions.
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Q&A of Becoming a Computed Tomography Technologist
Do I need a minimum of an Associate Degree to become a CT Tech?
Yes...but, This requirement must have been achieved in conjunction with your RT or NucMed certifications. An Associate in Applied Science degree is the minimum level of education required to be eligible for registry examination through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Not only is it required but it also gives you the "upper-hand" when it comes to applying to desirable positions in the field. Having a minimum of an associate degree prepares you to communicate in a professional manner and enhance your abilities analyze complex situations, particularly in radiography.
Is a license required to work as CT?
This is a big YES... but, more than likely you have already achieved this requirement through your certification in Radiology or Nuclear Medicine. The process for licensure is very similar to RT and NucMed in the sense that you still need to register with the California Department of Public Health, Radiologic Health Branch (CDPH-RHB) Remember that in order to qualify for the CT examination, the program you attend, must be at a college also approved by ARRT.
Is NPCollege accredited or approved by ARRT?
YES. Though we hold many accreditations and approvals from many registries for different fields, ARRT is the registry directly approved by (CDPH-RHB) for the RT and CT program. This is one of the most important questions you should ask any college.
How long is the program at NPC and why do different colleges have CT programs that vary in length?
The length of any CT program depends on class schedule and thoroughness of the program. NPCollege offers most of the medical imaging programs available in the healthcare industry. All of which are approved by ARRT or CDPH. The best program is one that suits your needs while at the same time meets ALL of the requirements to qualify you for certification. The length of the program will be highly dependent on the schedule. The CT program at NPCollege will take approximately 3.5 months to fully prepare you for externship, registry testing, and future employment challenges.
Can I transfer credits from another college to take the CT program at NPCollege?
No. The CT program is relatively short where no general education credits are required.
Is there financial aid available for the CT program?
Financial aid is comprised of government grants and or loans, and private loans. The CT program is NOT eligible for any type of federal financial assistance or Cal Grants. You may be able to contact other local government agencies or consider applying for NPCollege's payment plans available.
How can I submit an application for NPCollege's CT program?
Before we look into any application, NPCollege does require you to schedule a meeting with the admissions office to further review your academic background, and your goals. This is important because it allows us to make recommendations for our career path based on your academic or professional history.