One of the biggest benefits of working as a radiologic technologist is the fact that the field and the job is constantly evolving thanks to advancements in technology.
However, this also means that X-Ray techs have to take certain measures to stay up to date with the latest developments in the field. This is accomplished through continuing education.
As a radiological technologist, your certification requires you to complete certain continuing education requirements over the course of your career.
Continuing education, or CE, can seem overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be. Keep reading to learn more about CE for rad techs and how many X-Ray CE credits you need for radiography.
Determining How Many CE Credits You Need
As a radiologic technologist licensed by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists® (ARRT® ), you are required to earn and report 24 continuing CE credits every two years.
This two year period is referred to as a biennium. Your biennium is determined by the month you were born. It is also based on the year you passed your ARRT® examination.
Your biennium starts on the first day of the month you were born in. It ends two years later on the last day of the month before your birthday month. Once you pass your ARRT® certification exam, your biennium begins on the first day of your next birth month.
You can always verify your biennium period and when your CE credits are due by logging into your ARRT ® account.
Any licenses issued by your specific state as well as requirements by other licensing and credentialing agencies might be different. You will need to check with them to learn more about their particular requirements.
If you are certified or licensed as a limited radiographer, your CE requirements depend on the state where you work.
Some states require limited radiographers to earn 12 CE credits every 2 years and others require a full 24 CE credits. This depends on the radiation control regulations in the state where you live.
You can learn more about your requirements by contacting the radiation control agency in your state.
Earning X-Ray CE Credits
There are a number of different ways to earn CE credits depending on your preferences, interests, and schedule. Here are some of the most common ways to earn CE credits:
- Home study courses
- Online programs
- Attending lectures
- Taking college courses
- Attending seminars
How you choose to earn your CE credits is ultimately up to you. It’s important to note that the ARRT ® doesn’t accept credits that are something required as part of your job.
Other activities that don’t count towards continuing education include:
- Attending meetings
- Holding elected offices
- Activities that are unrelated to healthcare or radiologic technology
Earning CE credits shouldn’t be looked at as an inconvenience. Instead, radiologic professionals should look to make the most out of continuing education. CE can help you develop as a professional and as a person.
When you stay up to date on your continuing education, your employer will notice. CE can help you qualify for more job opportunities and promotions. Going above and beyond will set you apart from your competition.
You can also take the opportunity to learn new skills and areas of radiologic technology. CE is a great place to start if you are looking to expand your radiologic expertise or move up in the field.
Once you have earned a CE credit, you will be given a certificate from the sponsor that validates your credit showing that you have completed your requirement. You should keep these documents as you will need them to submit your CE information to the ARRT® to renew your license or certification.
This is especially important if you earn CE credits from more than one place. It is ultimately your responsibility to keep track of your completed CE credits as you don’t want to end up on probation.
Repeating Courses and Transferring Credits
The ARRT® and ASRT® (American Society of Radiologic Technologists®) do not allow radiologic technologists to repeat CE courses or activities for credit within the same biennium. However, you may be able to report a CE activity in the next biennium.
State licensing agencies have their own guidelines. You should contact your licensing board directly to determine whether you can repeat a course in a subsequent two year period.
Neither the ARRT® nor most state licensing agencies allow you to use left over CE credits, if you have earned more than the required credits during a biennium. For example, if you take a CE course and receive 30 credits, but only need 24, you cannot use the remaining 6 credits toward your next biennium CEs.
What Happens if I Fail to Earn Enough X-Ray CE Credits?
If you don’t complete your X-Ray CE requirements by the end of your biennium, your license with ARRT® will be put into a “CE Probation” status. At this point, you will have an additional six months to complete the required CE credits. These CE credits will not count toward your new biennium.
You won’t have to complete any additional credits as a penalty at this time, but when you report your credits, you will have to fill out a special probation report form and you will have to pay an extra fee.
It’s important for your credentials and your career that you complete your required continuing education on schedule.
Do You Need X-Ray CE Credits?
As a radiologic technologist, it’s imperative that you complete the required X-Ray CE credits. Continuing education helps you develop not only professionally but personally as well. CE also gives you the opportunity to explore new areas of the field and prepares you to advance your career.
You can easily incorporate continuing education into your schedule thanks to the flexibility offered by online courses.
Click here to learn more about the options we offer to help you stay in compliance and up to date with the latest radiologic developments.