Training opportunities for radiologic technologists in computed tomography are inadequate, according to the chief academic officer of the American Society of Radiologic Technologists.
Speaking at the Virtual Symposium on Radiation Safety and Computed Tomography on May 10, which was organized by the University of California, San Francisco, Myke Kudlas, M.Ed., said that radiography remains the focus of radiological technologist training and that educational opportunities in CT are few and far between, according to an article in AuntMinnie.com.
"Sixty-eight percent of CT technologist believed that entry-level programs should be increased through on-the-job training or standalone programs," said Kudlas, referring to a CT education needs assessment survey taken in 2008. "The fact that 68 percent of technologists believed there should be an increase in CT education tells us that people didn't feel totally secure when learning CT, and felt there should be more background knowledge before they got into it."
Kudlas said that while training curriculums give technologists a foundational knowledge of CT, new graduates are not prepared to work in CT departments immediately and need more training in which to get CT certified. In contrast, CT is part of the core curriculum in countries like the U.K. and Canada, which means techs are ready to start working on the modality much sooner.
"Right now, there are only four known CT programs in the country where somebody could go and take a CT course and get the clinical competencies, and when you think of how many people want to do a CT program, that's not very many," Kudlas said. "CT needs assessment tells us that 95 percent of CT techs who are performing CT get their training on the job."
Clearly, techs want further training, Kudlas said. Whether that training is done in person or online, he added, it should be provided as efficiently as possible considering today's economic conditions.
Overall enrollment in radiography educational programs decreased in 2012, according to the American Society of Radiologic Technologists' "Enrollment Snapshot of Radiography, Radiation Therapy and Nuclear Medicine Technology Programs." According to the survey, unveiled in January, about 15,675 students entered radiography programs in 2012, a 4.7 percent decrease from the 16,454 who enrolled in 2011.