Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Technology (BSRadTech) is a four year degree program designed to train students how to operate medical imaging equipments such as X-rays, CT scanners, MRIs, sonogram machines, and 3D medical imaging programs among other computer and web-based software programs. Students are also taught how to perform associated clerical duties, including scheduling and maintaining paperwork for office and clinical machinery.
The Commission of Higher Education
(CHED) has allowed schools to offer a ladderized curriculum for the BSRadTech program. There are also schools that offer associate degrees in radiologic technology.
Subjects and Curriculum
The subjects in the BSRadTech curriculum are divided into three main categories:
- General Education Courses:
Language/Literature/Philosophy, Mathematics/Natural Sciences/Information Technology, Social Sciences, Mandated Subjects, Physical Education, NSTP-CWTS
- Major Courses:
Human Anatomy and Physiology, Community and Public Health, Medical Terminology, Research Writing
- Professional Courses:
Radiologic Physics, Equipment and Maintenance, Radiographic Technique, Film Processing and Analysis, Radiographic Positioning and Radiologic Procedures, Radiologic Contrast Examinations, Patient Care and Management, Radiobiology and Radiation Protection, Radiologic Pathology, Computed Tomography Scan, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Ultrasonography, Nuclear Medicine
The first three years of the BSRadTech program are spent in classroom discussions and hands-on practice. The final year is solely intended for clinical exposure/duty in different tertiary hospitals.
As a requirement for graduation, a student must accomplish an undergraduate research paper. This is supervised by a research adviser and culminates when the student faces a panel composed of faculty members and an expert on the field of radiologic technology.
BS in Radiologic Technology vs. BS in Medical Technology
As mentioned before, the focus of the BS in Radiologic Technology program is teaching students the theory and clinical procedures in performing Radiography, Radiation Therapy and other forms of imaging studies such as X-rays, CT scanners, MRIs, sonogram machines, and 3D medical imaging programs.
The BS in Medical Technology program
focuses on diagnostics with key areas in Clinical Chemistry, Hematology, Microbiology, Immunohematology (Blood Banking), Immunology and Serology, Urinalysis and other Body Fluids (Clinical Microscopy), Parasitology, Histopathology/Cytological techniques and other emergent technologies.
Although these programs are very different, professionals working with both degrees are often given equal importance in the clinical workforce.
Is Radiologic Technology a profession?
Radiologic Technology is a profession. A graduate of BSRadTech who passes the Radiologic Technology Licensure Examination is called a Licensed Radiologic Technologist.
The responsibilities of a Radiologic Technologist include:
- Assessing patients and their clinical requirements to determine appropriate radiographic techniques;
- Performing a range of radiographic examinations on patients to produce high-quality images;
- Observing and maintaining contact with patients during their waiting, examination and post-examination stay in the department;
- Recording imaging identification and patient documentation quickly and accurately and observing protocols to ensure compliance with the Data Protection Act and patient confidentiality;
- Supervising assistant practitioners, students and other staff, and delivering appropriate education and training;
- Ensuring that equipment is regularly checked for malfunctions and any faults are reported.
What are the admission requirements for the BS in Radiologic Technology program?
Requirements at each school may differ, but these are the common requirements:
- Must be a high school graduate.
Those who did not complete high school education may opt to first attend Alternative Learning System (ALS) and pass the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) to qualify for college. However, some universities only offer selected courses for PEPT passers.
- College entrance exam: must pass the college entrance examination with a specified rating set by the school.
- Interview: must pass the interview conducted by the college dean/faculty.
(See sources 1
What skills, traits and attitude will help you succeed in this course?
- Technical Skills – the ability to learn, operate and control properly and safely an extensive range of diagnostic imaging equipment used in the field.
- Basic Mathematical skills – part of the job is the need to mix the right doses of chemicals used in imaging procedures, the ability to calculate is very important to avoid mistakes.
- Clinical Efficiency – the ability to execute appropriate patient care while performing imaging and diagnostic procedures taking into consideration different medical conditions/diseases among patients.
- Logical skills – the ability to recall, evaluate, and apply information and engage in critical thinking in the classroom and clinical setting.
- Communication skills – must be able to effectively explain diagnostic imaging procedures to both the patient and family members, utilize questioning techniques to obtain accurate clinical histories, and give directions during the procedure.
- Organization – the ability to manage and prioritize different patients at a time, efficiently giving them the same amount of attention.
- Interpersonal skills – the ability to deal with different kinds of patients from all ages and walks of life and gain their cooperation.
How difficult is BS in Radiologic Technology?
BS in Radiologic Technology is not a difficult course. Although it is a medically related course, the biological sciences integrated in its curriculum are only on a basic level. Since the course requires you to operate imaging equipments and perform certain procedures, you have to be able to understand and pick up instructions easily. Strong technical skills and precision are key factors to be able to complete this course.
How long does it take to complete the BSRadTech program in the Philippines?
The BSRadTech program takes four years to complete. The program may be completed in less than 4 years in schools that follow the trimestral curriculum.
The entire fourth year of the BSRadTech program is spent in different tertiary hospitals doing clinical duty. This internship program is called the Radiologic Technology Clinical Education Training Program. The program consists of eleven (11) months of intensive clinical training in general radiography and in the various subspecialties of Radiology in CT-Scan, MRI, Interventional Radiology, Nuclear Medicine, Radiation Therapy and Ultrasonography.
Radiologic Technology interns shall undergo a minimum of eight (8) hours hospital duty per day, five (5) days a week, and shall observe, assist, and perform in at least eight hundred (800) general radiographic examinations and two hundred (200) specialized radiologic procedures (CT-Scan, MRI, Radiation Therapy, Nuclear Medicine, etc.) during the entire training period.
A record of the examinations performed/assisted shall be contained in a logbook duly signed by the radiologic technologists-in-charge, training officer or chief radiologic technologist of the hospital concerned and submitted at the end of training.
The total number of hours for internship in a week is forty-eight (48) hours for a total of two thousand one hundred twelve (2,112) hours for the 11-month training period (See source
Radiologic Technology Licensure Examination
To become a Licensed Radiologic Technologist in the Philippines, a graduate of BS in Radiologic Technology needs to pass the Radiologic Technology Licensure Examination. The examination is conducted by the Board of Radiologic Technology
under the supervision of the Professional Regulations Commission
(PRC). As of 2014, the exam is conducted once a year, in July. The following subjects with their corresponding weights cover the exam:
- Radiation Physics and Equipment Maintenance - 10%
- Radiobiology and Radiation Protection - 10%
- Radiographic Positioning - 10%
- Radiographic Technique - 10%
- Special Procedures - 10%
- Anatomy, Physiology and Medical Terminology - 10%
- Photochemistry and Film Analysis - 10%
- Nursing and Department Procedures in Radiology and Professional Ethics - 5%
- Ultrasound - 5%
- Radiation Therapy - 5%
- Nuclear Medicine - 5%
- Radiologic Pathology - 5%
- Computed Tomography/Magnetic Resonance Imaging - 5%
In order to pass the examination, a candidate must obtain a weighted average of at least 75% with no rating below 60% in any subject. The results are usually released after 2 to 4 days.(See source
Career opportunities for BS in Radiologic Technology graduates
Jobs for licensed Radiologic Technologists (board exam passers)
- Radiologic Technologist/X-ray Technologist – review and evaluate developed x-rays, video tape, or computer generated information to determine if images are satisfactory for diagnostic purposes. Explains procedure and observe patients to ensure safety and comfort during scan.
- Computed Tomography (CT) Technologist – certified radiologic technologists who have completed additional education in CT technology. These specialized techs operate CT equipment, which produces cross-sectional images of patients' bones, organs and tissue that are used to diagnose medical conditions.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technologist – perform diagnostic testing by taking images of patients' bodies using computerized MRI scanners. They generally work under the supervision of physicians and other medical personnel.
- Diagnostic medical sonographers/Ultrasound Technologists – conduct tests by pressing a device called a transducer against the patient's skin or in some cases by inserting it into the patient's body.
- Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Technologist – highly skilled professionals who perform body scanning to check for areas showing signs of abnormality. PET Technologists also keep a track of safety measures to protect patients while performing scans.
- Cardiovascular technologists – monitor patients' blood pressure and heart rate using electrocardiogram (EKG) equipment during diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in order to notify the physician if something appears wrong.
- Mammography Technologist – perform a variety of technical activities associated with the performance of screening and diagnostic mammography procedures.
- Angiographic technologists/Interventional radiologic technologists – operates diagnostic imaging equipment to produce contrast enhanced radiographs of blood vessels to aid Physician in diagnosis and treatment of disease.
- Nuclear medicine technologists – prepares and administers radiopharmaceuticals, radioactive drugs, to a patient in order to treat or diagnose disease. He or she then uses a camera to create images that will track how the drug metabolizes in the patient's body.
- Radiation therapy technologist – administers radiation therapy by exposing specific areas of the patient's body to prescribed doses of radiation. Maintain detailed records of all therapy sessions, noting on the patient's chart such information as the area treated, the radiation dosage, equipment control settings, the patient's reactions, and the total amount of radiation received to date.
- Digital Subtraction Angiography Technologist – performs fluoroscopy procedures used in interventional radiology to clearly visualize blood vessels in a bony or dense soft tissue environment.
Jobs for Non-Board Passers:
- Radiographer – Radiographers are assistants to Radiology Technologists, otherwise known as Radiology Technicians. They assist radiologists with advanced preparation and testing to administrative tasks, such as organizing work schedules and maintaining patient records.
- Medical Assistant – perform routine administrative and clinical tasks to keep the offices of physicians and other health practitioners running smoothly. The duties of medical assistants vary from office to office, depending on the location and size of the practice and the practitioner's specialty.
- Scope Technician/Scheduler – answers phones, greets patients and prepares charts for the physician. Schedules appointments for Radiology, ACC, Cardio, Rehab Services, Sleep Lab and Non-Invasive Lab utilizing the Central Scheduling system.
- Radiation Safety Officers – overseers of Quality Assurance (e.g. Licensing/ Technical division of Department of Health)
- Radiologic Equipment maintenance specialists – inspects and tests malfunctioning equipment to determine cause of malfunction, following learned procedures and repair manual instructions, using specialized test and analysis instruments and manufacturers' specifications.
Career Opportunities Abroad Filipino Radiologists are in demand in several countries abroad. Depending on the country, an applicant must complete additional requirements or trainings before he/she can practice the profession there.
According to the Association of Filipino Radiographers in the United Kingdom (AFRUK), Radiologic technologists are among the highly skilled professions that have been very much in demand in the UK since 2000 (see source).
Salary Levels A Radiologic Technologist in the Philippines can expect a monthly salary of P11,000 to P15,000 (see source).