A new program at Lone Star College-Montgomery offers an innovative, high-tech look into the human body—one “slice” at a time.
The new computed tomography advanced technical certificate program, which builds on the associate of applied science degree in medical radiologic technology, prepares students to operate specialized equipment to produce cross-sectional images—or “slices”—that aide physicians in diagnosing patients
“We’re building on our already thriving radiologic technology program—which has boasted a 100 percent first-attempt pass rate on the national exam for nine consecutive years—in order to offer students and the community a higher level of training and a higher level of service,” said Dr. Austin Lane, president of LSC-Montgomery.
The application period for admission into the fall 2014 class has been extended through June 19, 2014, and only 15 students will be accepted. The program requires completion of an associate of applied science degree in a two-year Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology accredited program in radiography, radiation therapy, or nuclear medicine and certification by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (or equivalent). Other admission requirements can be found at www.LoneStar.edu/Additional_Computed_Tomography_Entry_Requirements.
The program consists of six courses (or 18 credit hours) spread over two semesters. The educational courses will be offered at LSC-Montgomery in the evenings, and clinical rotations will be scheduled on days, evenings, or weekends at affiliated healthcare sites.
A subspecialty of radiology, computed tomography is an advanced radiographic imaging technique that utilizes x-ray beams and an array of radiation detectors to create images of the body in scheduled or emergency situations. Whether it’s to identify muscle or bone disorders, detect infections or diseases, or pinpoint internal injuries, more and more doctors are turning to computed tomography (or CT scans) to assist in diagnosing and treating their patients. As the need for this type of technology increases, so does the demand for trained CT technologists.
“Our mission is to provide a comprehensive education that fulfills the growing need for medical imaging professionals,” said Dr. Francis Ozor, director of LSC-Montgomery’s radiologic technology department. “This advanced certification enables graduates to keep up with current technologies, while providing them an employment edge and increased career mobility.”
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there will be a 28 percent increase in employment for all radiologic technologists from 2010 to 2020, with more than 95,000 jobs available nationwide. In 2010, the average annual wage for this field was $54,340.
CT technologists work in a variety of settings including hospitals, outpatient, and extended care settings, as well as in possible sales, education, or supervisory positions.
LSC-Montgomery’s curriculum covers computed tomography physics, equipment operation and methodology, cross-sectional anatomy, and patient care.
“We couldn’t ask for better students and better graduated technologists from LSC-Montgomery,” said Jim Wall, director of imaging services at Kingwood Medical Center (KMC) and co-chair of LSC-Montgomery’s radiologic technology advisory committee. “I’m glad to be a part of what the college is doing. Their success is written out there. It’s a great place to find technologists that really will benefit all of us.”
KMC has served as one of several clinical rotation sites for LSC-Montgomery’s radiologic technology students. Other clinical rotation sites include Conroe Regional Medical Center, Houston Northwest Medical Center, Huntsville Memorial Hospital, Memorial Hermann Northeast Hospital, Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital, St. Luke's Lakeside Hospital, St. Luke's The Woodlands Hospital, and a recently established partnership with Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center.
LSC-Montgomery is the only campus within the Lone Star College System that offers the computed tomography advanced technical certificate program or the associate of applied science degree in radiologic technology.
For more information, visit www.LoneStar.edu/Computed_Tomography_Certificate.