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Merritt College Radiologic Science Program FAQ's
Where can I find the offices of the Radiologic Science Program?
The Allied Health office is located in the “D” building, room 102. The Program Director’s office is in D106. Additional program faculty are located in D111. The general program information phone number is 510 436-2509. The Allied Health secretary’s phone number is 510 436-2422.
How long is the program?
The program is 24 consecutive months, from August of the first year to August, 24 months later. There is generally no break between semesters except for winter and spring break. The summer session is 12.5 weeks and begins the day after Memorial Day and ends the Wednesday before the beginning of Fall semester.
What are the requirements for applying to the program?
1. Students must complete four prerequisite courses, with a grade of “C” or better on each course and an overall average GPA of 2.5 or above (on the prerequisite courses only) to qualify for application to the program. Prerequisites must be taken within seven years of application.
a. Survey of Radiologic Science (Radte 1A)
b. Intermediate Algebra (Math 203)
c. Anatomy and Physiology-two choices: Bio 2 AND 4 OR Bio 20a AND 20b (or equivalent at another college-at least 8 units total)
d. Students entering the program are expected to demonstrate proficiency using Microsoft Word, e-mail, PowerPoint presentation software, and navigating the internet. Students who are not proficient should take Introduction to Computer Information Systems, CIS 1 or an equivalent course at another college.
2. Completion of all General Education requirements for the Associate Degree.
- Proof of prerequisite and General Education requirement completion must be verified by the Radiologic Science enrollment evaluator (appointments available between January 15th and April 15th in EVEN years beginning 2012) on a form called the “Permit to Apply.” The enrollment evaluator will directly submit the Permit to Apply and General Education progress record to the Allied Health Office. The evaluator will give applicants the program application upon verification of courses. Students are responsible for submitting proof of high school completion, the application, and two sets of official transcripts from each college attended either by mail or in person to the Allied Health office in D102.
How are students selected for the program?
In the event that the number of qualified applicants exceeds the available program slots (this is almost always the case), a lottery will be used as a means of student selection. Qualified applicants from the previous year who were not selected will be given priority for the current year’s selection process (wait listed). Detailed information regarding the status of the student selection process for a particular application period may be obtained from the Radiologic Science Department and will be presented in the prerequisite course, Survey of Radiologic Science. In the event the class is not filled by qualified applicants by the deadline date of April 15th, the deadline may be extended until announced in order to fill the class. Depending on the number of clinical placements available at affiliate sites, the program accepts approximately 30 students per year. All applicants will be notified of acceptance status.
Is there anything I can do other than completing the prerequisite and general education courses that might increase my chances of successfully completing the program if accepted?
A recommended preparation is not required for enrollment but may broaden and deepen a student’s learning experience while in the program. The program recommends higher Mathematics (such as College Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, Pre-Calculus, or Calculus), Physics (such as Introduction to Physics, General Physics or Physics of Radiation and/or Electromagnetism), Medical Terminology, Introduction to Computer Information Systems, and Professional or Business Communications. Prior work or volunteer experience in health care or customer service is also recommended as preparation for the program.
How do I qualify to begin working as a technologist after graduation?
Graduates take a registry examination administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technology that covers knowledge and skills required of an entry level technologist. After successfully passing the exam with a score of 75% or greater, and obtaining a license from the California Department of Health Services, the graduate is qualified to begin working as a radiologic technologist.
What is the difference between a technologist and a technician?
A radiologic technologist holds a two-year degree or certificate and is qualified to x-ray any part of the body. A Registered Technologist may perform x-rays in the radiology department, on nursing floors, surgery, and the emergency department of any hospital. Technologists may also work in imaging centers, mobile units, clinics, or doctor’s offices.
A technician holds a limited permit and has completed a shorter education program than the technologist. A technician program prepares students to sit for state licensing examinations that upon successful passage permit them to x-ray a very limited range of body parts. Technicians usually work in doctor’s offices and the salary rate is generally considerably less than that of a technologist.
What is the salary range for a radiologic technologist in the Bay Area?
Salaries range from about $35.00-$43.00 per hour for a new graduate working in a hospital in the Bay Area (2009). Technologists working evening or night shifts generally receive a pay differential above the base salary level. Technologists working in doctor’s offices and clinics may receive 20-30% less pay. San Francisco hospitals generally pay higher than those located in the suburbs of Alameda and Contra Costa counties.
What career growth opportunities exist for this profession?
New graduates can enhance their employability by continuing their education in specialty areas such as Sonography, Nuclear Medicine, or Radiation Therapy, or by earning a BS or BA degree. Possibilities also exist for careers in management, sales of equipment or supplies, applications, education, and as an independent contractor or consultant.
I already have a BA/BS degree. What do I still need to do?
You must still complete all of the prerequisite requirements to qualify for application. You have probably satisfied the Math requirement as part of your Bachelor program, however coursework must be taken within seven years of application. If older, an assessment test may be taken to establish currency. Make an appointment with Counseling to take an assessment test (436-2475). Survey of Radiologic Science and Anatomy and Physiology must be current within seven years or must be retaken.
I took a course similar to Survey of Radiologic Science at another college. Do I have to take the course again at Merritt?
Due to the tremendous volume of students interested in applying to the program, it is not possible for program faculty to meet individually with each student. The Survey class is the method in which program application information is communicated to prospective students. In addition, student observations are required within affiliated radiology departments as part of the course. This allows students to visit our affiliates and observe the day-to-day duties of working technologists. The observation also provides affiliate personnel the opportunity to provide feedback on program applicants via the observation evaluations. Their evaluations comprise a portion of the course grade. Therefore, the Survey course at Merritt is required for all program applicants (beginning in application year 2006).
Is it possible to transfer to the Merritt College Radiologic Science Program from another program?
Due to the differences that exist in program structure and clinical requirements, transferring from another program is not currently permitted. The only option offered is the full twenty-four month program.
Is there an accelerated program available for graduates of foreign x-ray programs, CRT’s seeking ARRT registry eligibility, or physicians?
Unfortunately, the program is not able to offer an accelerated program at this time. The only option offered is the full twenty-four month program.