How do You Become a CAT Scan Technologist?

Anyone who wants to become a CAT scan technologist will need to complete a degree that is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Fortunately, there are almost 600 accredited radiology programs in the country. These include two-year degrees in radiology technology that include classes in radiation safety, medical terminology, patient positioning, diagnostic techniques, radiography procedures and human anatomy and physiology.

Earn a Degree

Computed tomography (CT) degree programs teach students how to use X-rays, technology and software to gather anatomic information from patients. CAT machines take pictures of a sectional plane of the body and present it as a 3D l image. The CT field is continuously changing as technology enables radiologists to provide diagnoses of diseases that cannot be tested or examined by other radiography methods. CT technology programs teach students how to perform computed tomographic procedures without direct supervision. Students gain a thorough knowledge of every dimension of human anatomy. They learn to make judgments about image formation, data archiving and procedure performance.

Degree programs emphasize how to independently maintain the highest standards of patient care and safety. This advanced technology uses highly specialized equipment and requires specialized education and training. Most programs are based on American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) academic standards. These degrees are offered online in conjunction with a number of on-site, clinical education courses. Students learn how computed tomographic images can be enhanced and reconstructed in various anatomical orientations to clarify image details that allow for better visualization of diagnostic analysis, disease pathology, and radiology interpretations.

Obtain Certification

Most employers and states either want or require CAT technologists to obtain professional certification through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). The ARRT offers an exclusive certificate in radiography and advanced certificate for experienced radiology practitioners. After candidates meet the ethics and education requirements, they can register for the Computed Tomography (CT) certification exam that assesses their skills, knowledge and cognitive performance. In order to qualify for the exam, candidates must submit to a comprehensive background check.

Anyone who has a felony, misdemeanor or criminal plea of guilty on their record may be denied. The exam contains 200 questions and 20 non-scored pilot questions. The test time limited is three and a half hours with 20 minutes for a tutorial and 10 minutes for a post-exam survey. The exam assesses a CAT technologist’s skill and knowledge of radiology areas like patient care, radiation safety and equipment use. In order to remain registered with the ARRT, CAT technologists must take continuing education classes related to radiology.

Because there are potential health and safety hazards associated with radioactive materials and equipment, most states require CAT scan technologists to be licensed. State licensure usually consists of an accredited radiography degree and ARRT radiography certification. Anyone who wants to advance their career as a CAT scan technologist should pursue a graduate-level degree. A Bachelor or Master of Science in Radiologic Science degree may offer specializations in radiology education, administration and technology.