A student in the two-year Radiography Program attends lectures and practices the skills being taught in lab settings at the Coleman Health Science Center College. Further hands-on knowledge is gained during clinical experiences in Texas Medical Center institutions and various other hospitals and clinics throughout the area. Clinicals and classes conducted at these locations can begin as early as 7:00 a.m. The student is responsible for transportation to and from these locations as well as parking fees.
An individual who is interested in the Radiography Program is encouraged to complete all required academic courses before submitting an application for admission into the Program. Previous college courses that are transferable to the Radiography degree plan are assets to the applicant. Transfer credit must be approved by the counselor.
An individual accepted into the Program is required to pay a liability insurance fee. The students also must pay a fee each semester for a radiation monitor (dosimeter), a requirement in all clinical education courses. Background checks and drug screening are required on all accepted students and are a condition of continued acceptance in the program. A physical exam completed by a physician with documentation of required immunizations is also a policy for all accepted students. Hepatitis B vaccinations must be completed before students begin the program.
Degrees and Certificates
A Career in Radiography
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2007 says, “Radiographers produce x-ray images of the human body for use in diagnosing medical problems. They prepare patients for radiologic examinations by explaining the procedure, removing articles such as jewelry, through which x rays cannot pass, and positioning patients so that the parts of the body can be appropriately radiographed. To prevent unnecessary radiation exposure, technologists surround the exposed area with radiation protection devices, such as lead shields, or limit the size of the x-ray beam.
Radiographers position radiographic equipment at the correct angle and height over the appropriate area of a patient’s body. Using instruments similar to a measuring tape, technologists may measure the thickness of the section to be radiographed and set controls on the machine to produce radiographs of the appropriate density, detail, and contrast. They place the x-ray cassettes under the part of the patient’s body to be examined and make the exposure. They develop or process the images.
For fluoroscopic exams, radiographers prepare a solution of contrast medium for the patient to drink, allowing the radiologist, a physician who interprets images, to see soft tissues in the body. Radiologic technologists must follow physicians ’orders precisely and conform to regulations concerning use of radiation to protect themselves, their patients, and coworkers from unnecessary exposure. In addition to preparing patients and operating equipment, radiologic technologists keep patient records and adjust and maintain equipment. They may also prepare work schedules, evaluate equipment purchases, or manage a radiology department.”
Most full-time radiologic technologists work about 40 hours a week; they may have evening, weekend, or on-call hours.Physical stamina is important, because technologists are on their feet for long periods and may lift or turn disabled patients. They work at diagnostic machines but may also do some procedures at patients’ bedsides. Some radiologic technologists travel to patients in large vans equipped with sophisticated diagnostic equipment. Although potential radiation hazards exist in this occupation, they are minimized by the use of lead aprons, gloves, and other shielding devices, as well as by instruments monitoring radiation exposure. Technologists wear badges measuring radiation levels in the radiation area, and detailed records are kept on their cumulative lifetime dose.
Radiologic technologists held about 196,000 jobs in 2006. More than half of all jobs were in hospitals. Most of the rest are in physicians’ offices and clinics, including diagnostic imaging centers; and outpatient care centers.
Median annual earnings of radiologic technologists were $48,170 in 2006. The middle 50 percent earned between $39,840 and $57,940. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $32,750, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $68,920. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of radiologic technologists in 2006 were:
- Medical and diagnostic laboratories $51,280
- Hospitals 48,830
- Offices and clinics of medical doctors 45,500
Graduates of the HCCS Radiography Program may apply to take the ARRT certification exam. To practice in Texas, radiographers must also hold a certificate from the Texas Department of State Health Services. Any individual with a previous felony conviction should contact the ARRT for a Pre-Certification Application at (651) 687-0048 Ethics Division concerning eligibility requirements.
Admission Steps - Radiography
The HCC Coleman College Radiography Program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT), 20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 2850, Chicago, IL 60606-3182. Phone: 312-704-5300. www.jrcert.org or email us at email@example.com.
Houston Community College (HCC) is accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the regional accrediting body. www.sacscoc.org.
Consistent with the mission of Houston Community College, the faculty of the Radiography Program is committed to providing quality instruction to educate competent entry level radiographers to meet the needs of the ever changing, diverse, and multi-cultural health care community. The Program strives to develop within all students, an appreciation and desire for the continued quest for knowledge, lifelong learning, integrity and community-mindedness.
Student Goals and Outcomes
The goals of the program include:
- Upon completion of the program the graduate will satisfactorily demonstrate the following entry-level skills in radiography:
- Clinical competency
- Communication kills
- Problem solving
- Professional development and growth
- Upon completion of the program, a minimum of 90 percent of the graduates will be successful on the national credentialing examination
- 75 percent of the students admitted to the program will complete the two-year curriculum
- 80 percent of the graduates seeking employment in Radiography will be employed within six months
The program has set the following benchmarks:
- A pass rate on the ARRT exam of 90% for first time test takers.
- A graduation rate of 75% over a three year period.
- A job placement rate of 80% within six months of graduation.
The Radiography Program at Houston Community College is quite intense and requires many hours of study to be successful. All radiography courses are scheduled Monday through Friday during daytime hours. At designated times within the program, and with proper evaluation and approval by the clinic coordinator, students may be scheduled on limited evening clinical rotations.
In order to assure patient safety in the clinical area student radiographers must possess the following characteristics:
- Read and write at college level. The student must be able to communicate effectively in verbal and written aspects of the English language.
- Perform basic mathematical functions.
- Be able to function within a high stress hospital environment and in emergency situations be able to move rapidly and accurately.
- Be able to use independent judgment in decision making with patient care and technical procedures.
- Demonstrate many interpersonal skills in getting along with other students and especially the staff of clinical education centers.
- Be clean and neat in personal appearance for dress and personal hygiene.
- Demonstrate self-motivation in accomplishing personal goals within the program.
- Follow college and program policies and procedures as outlined in Student
The radiographer is an important member of the health care team. The Radiography Program at Houston Community College has identified the following expected outcomes which represent entry-level skills for the radiologic technologist. Upon completion of the program, the graduate should be able to meet the following:
- Use verbal and written communication
- Apply knowledge of anatomy, physiology, positioning, techniques and imaging
- Calculate and determine exposure factors to achieve optimum radiographic techniques with minimum radiation exposure to the
- Evaluate radiographic images for appropriate positioning and
- Apply the principles of radiation protection for the patient, self and
- Provide quality patient care, safety and
- Recognize emergency patient conditions and respond
- Evaluate the performance of radiographic systems, recognize understand the safe limits of equipment operation and report malfunctions to the proper
- Apply critical thinking skills to adapt the technical performance of radiographic procedures to patient ability and
- Process radiographic images using the automatic processor and/or digital
- Apply principles of proper body mechanics while positioning and transferring
- Demonstrate knowledge and skills relating to quality assurance of images and
- Demonstrate professional working standards with patients, hospital staff and administrators.
First Time Pass Rates Over 5 Years (ARRT)
|Year||% Passing on First Attempt||# of Students|
|2011||100%||29 of 29 Students passed on 1st Attempt|
|2012||100%||18 of 18 Students passed on 1st Attempt|
|2013||92%||24 of 26 Students passed on 1st Attempt|
|2014||86%||25 of 29 Students passed on 1st Attempt|
|2015||100%||36 of 36 Students passed on 1st Attempt|
|Average||95.6%||132 of 138 Students passed on 1st Attempt|
Five-Year Average Job Placement Rate 1 year Post Graduation
|Year||% Job Placement||# of Students Employed/Seeking|
Five-Year Annual Program Completion Rate
# of Students (Start/Finish)
*For the Completion rates the number of students started are those that remain in the first semester class after the last date to drop with a “W”.
A Career in Computed Tomography
The Computed Tomography program is a one-semester evening program leading to an Enhanced Skills Certificate (ESC) or, in some cases, Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Courses have both theory and a competency-based clinical component. All CT courses must be enrolled in concurrently. Those who are accepted into the program will be required to pay a liability insurance fee, which protects the student against losses resulting from malpractice claims. Accepted students must also pay a radiation monitoring badge fee. The badge is required in all clinical education courses.
Admission Steps - Computed Tomography
There are 3,169 Radiographers employed in the Greater Houston Area. This number is expected to increase by 16.0% over the next four years.
- The estimated annual job openings is 195 jobs a year.
- Median Wages - $26.29 hourly, $55,000 annually