While a Bachelor's in Radiology is not required to apply for many entry level positions in the healthcare industry, pursuing an advanced degree offers unique opportunities for specialization and professional development. Internships and clinical work gives students a chance to gain real world experience as well as explore some of the different options available to them within the field. Students can focus their undergraduate education on a few specific areas within radiology, or use the time to learn about the various applications and implications of the technology. They can also choose to continue their education by completing a masters program in radiology or another area of academic study entirely.
A nuclear medical technologist is a specialization within the radiology profession that relies on traceable chemicals to create a living image of the body. Patients are injected with a radioactive substance that can reveal information about the function of various critical organs, including the heart and brain. Practitioners frequently work directly with patients to prepare them for the procedure and ensure that all safety precautions are taken before and during the process.
CT and MRI Procedures
While there are significant differences between computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology, they both rely on large machines to conduct deep tissue scans. Patients must remain inside a large tube during the procedure, while the radiologist operates and monitors the system. This specialization requires comfort with automated systems as well as specific technical skills needed to safely operate complex medical equipment.
Rather than relying on X-rays or radiation to conduct internal scans, sonographers use sound waves to reduce the risks to patient health. Ultrasound technology allows the technician to record video and images of internal structures, including organs and the reproductive system. Sonographers often found employment in obstetrician and gynecologist offices due to their use in monitoring pregnancy. The use of sound waves is considered a healthier alternative to radiation imaging, so it is frequently used as a substitute to avoid damage to the mother or child.
Research and Development
Those pursing a Bachelor's in Radiology can also steer their career away from practice towards a research or development role. Experts in radiology technology are always needed to help improve the equipment and techniques used to diagnose patients. Researchers may also look for ways to make the technology safer by reducing patient exposure to potentially harmful radiation. Students of radiology may also focus on finance and administration, preparing themselves to solve current issues surrounding the applications and availability of the technology.
In an academic setting, radiology is a diverse and interesting field that has a lot to offer students of various backgrounds and ambitions. Whether a student wants to go right into a job following their education or couple their degree with a masters of finance or business, there are numerous ways to apply the knowledge and skills gained from study. There are a few popular specializations within a Bachelor's in Radiology program with significant demand in the industry, but they are certainly not the only options available to those entering the profession.