In recent years, the field of radiology has exploded with more radiologic technologists signing up for the complex and technical work the field offers. It’s a field for anyone interested in services and technology. Anyone looking to help people who are dealing with a variety of medical issues will be a good fit.
It’s important to know that it’s important for every certified radiologist to earn radiology CE credits.
If you’re looking to earn your credits around your own schedule with online courses, here’s what you need to know.
Which Careers Require Continuing Education?
There are a wide variety of professions that offer certifications. In the radiology field, you need to work to maintain your licensure through radiology continuing education, especially if you’re looking to stand out in the professional community and find a job. It’s hard to be competitive without the right licensure and certifications.
Most of these licenses require continuing education. That’s because technology, standards, and requirements change constantly. While it’s expected that you’d do some research on your own, keeping requirements ensures there’s a minimum standard for all radiologists.
Every state has different certification requirements. The industry sometimes lobbies for different requirements and so it’s vital for radiologic technologists to stay tuned to the changes made in each state.
Radiologic technologists, radiation therapists, and radiologists all require continuing education of some kind. Radiographers and radiologic technologists will keep up to date on equipment changes and x-ray technology information. Radiation therapists and radiologists will need to learn about using radiation as part of their medical tool kit, often to treat cancer patients.
Who Else Needs Continuing Education?
Radiologic technologists will mostly work in one main imaging technique. This ensures that they gain mastery over this technique and can focus on providing one type of high-quality service to patients.
In addition to those listed above, you find that sonographic and nuclear medicine technologists also need CE credits.
Sonographers bounce high-frequency soundwaves off of tissues inside of the human body. They read echos and those get translated into an image.
Nuclear medicine is where trace amounts of radiopharmaceuticals are used to get data from inside the body. Bones, organs, and tissues show up with radiopharmaceuticals. Cameras get an image of the gamma-ray emissions that help doctors to find issues inside of a body.
Getting to Know the Requirements
Radiologic technologists and radiation therapists have to get certified through a group called the ARRT®. The American Registry of Radiological Technologists® requires that applicants first graduate from a program that they approve of. Then, they’ll require that the graduate meets ethical standards before they’re allowed to take a certification exam, also known as the boards.
Every two years, ARRT® certified technologists need to complete a full 24 credits in continuing education. If they don’t, they might risk losing their certification.
Radiologists go through a different process. They’re certified by the American Board of Radiology®. Those certifications are renewed over the course of ten years, during which time a radiologist needs to take a lot of credits.
They also need to perform a self-assessment depending on their specialty.
Choosing the Right Program
The right program for every radiologist and radiologic technologist will depend on what’s available and what state you’re in. The rules can be complicated and are often subject to change.
Sonographers and nuclear medicine technologists need to look carefully at what’s offered. They need to be recognized by certification granting organizations. This will depend from one jurisdiction to another.
Professional organizations will look at proposed courses submitted by providers. They determine whether or not a course is adequate by peer-reviewed guidelines. Approved continuing education is available through these professional associations.
Even manufacturers of medical equipment can offer courses. If you’re going to be working with one specific tool, sometimes, the people who make that tool can do the best job in letting you know how to get the most out of it.
Enrollment is going to be limited to people who already have a certification and who need continuing education. People who are merely interested in learning about radiology should not pursue continuing education credits.
Types of Courses
There are a number of different types of courses aimed at each type of radiology specialty.
As outlined above, radiologists and radiologic technologists might need to take a course that’s based on a particular technology that they use. They might also need to learn about changes to X-ray standards if the state law has changed. Radiation therapists and radiologists will learn about how treatments can be carefully used to target different types of illnesses based on new research.
Nuclear medicine is another type of specialty that changes constantly. As more radiopharmaceuticals are developed and used constantly, healthcare providers and radiologists need to be on top of this. They also need to ensure that they’re sticking to high safety standards.
Mammography specialists will need to stay up to date as their field also changes.
Fluoroscopy is a specialty where things are changing constantly. The live dynamic imaging that’s created with fluoroscopy is always being changed by new technology and knowing what to look for will change with each leap.
Ultrasound technolgists or sonographers have seen their field change and grow over time. Those improvements are folded into continuing education so that every sonographer can offer imaging techniques that are ever more effective.
Radiology CE Credits Can Be Earned At Home
Thanks to the number of online courses available, it’s never been easier to stay on top of your radiology CE credits. Knowing which courses are best and which are available is also easy thanks to the availability of options.
If you’re interested in MRI training, check out our guide to learn more.