CAT Scan Technician Training Programs and Schools

Earning an associate's degree in radiologic technology and specializing in CAT (computed axial tomography) scan imaging will prepare you for a career of helping others in the high-demand field of health care. Learn about job duties, training requirements, specializations and how to select a school. Schools offering Cardiovascular Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

As a CAT scan technician, you begin your training by completing a certificate, diploma, or degree program in radiography, followed by additional training in CT imaging. You can find educational programs at a variety of schools, but should make sure they are accredited. Some programs offer hands-on training that may provide you with increased educational opportunities.

Programs Certificates, diplomas, associate's and bachelor's degrees in radiography are available
Classes Patient positioning, radiation protection, principles of imaging, radiologic procedures and radiologic patient care
Schools Community colleges, vocational schools and universities offer radiographic programs. Ensure that you choose an accredited school that meets radiographic standards

What Do CAT Scan Technicians Do?

CAT scan technicians, or computed tomography (CT) technicians, use computed tomography scanners to create cross-sectional images of the internal organs and tissues. These scans are then used to diagnose diseases, cancers, and abnormalities. CAT scan technicians work directly with physicians to carry out tasks like:

  • Understanding patients' medical histories
  • Positioning the patient to accommodate the appropriate scan
  • Administering contrast injections
  • Operating CAT scan equipment
  • Ensuring radiation safety and protection

What Training Do I Need to Become a CAT Scan Technician?

CAT scan technicians are radiologic technologists that have advanced training in CAT scan imaging, so you will first need to earn a certificate, diploma, associate's degree or bachelor's degree in the field of radiography. These programs combine clinical experience with classroom learning to teach skills and medical knowledge specific to radiology, like:

  • How to position patients
  • Radiation protection
  • Principles of imaging
  • Radiologic procedures
  • Radiologic patient care

After completing a properly accredited program, you will be eligible to take the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) competency examination. Once passed, you will have gained the title of a Registered Technologist. Certification through the ARRT is voluntary, but according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, many employers prefer certified radiography professionals (www.bls.gov).

How Do I Specialize in CAT Scans?

Further training can be completed through a certificate program in CT imaging, which generally requires one month of full-time study. In these programs, protocol and techniques for operating CT instrumentation are combined with anatomy and pathology to ensure that you will be a competent technician. Many programs require that you complete a clinical practicum and show proficiency in the clinical competencies outlined by the ARRT.

This training will enable you to work in a CT imaging lab in a number of settings, like hospitals, trauma centers or clinics. It will also qualify you for certification as a CT imaging specialist.

How Do I Choose a School?

Many community colleges, universities and vocational schools offer degrees in the field of radiography, but obtaining certification and employment may be easier if you attend a school that adheres to the standards of radiographic societies/registries and is accredited. Because regulations vary between states, you should be sure that the program you're enrolling in meets the standards of the state you live in. When selecting a school, you may also prefer programs that offer you access to modern medical facilities and radiolographic equipment for hands-on experience.

You may find schools that offer online radiography opportunities, but you may only be eligible to enroll if you already possess prior radiography education. These programs may be available as associate's or bachelor's degree programs and may help you advance your current career in radiography or CT imaging by allowing you to achieve a higher level of education while you work.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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