Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science
Radiologic science is a branch of medicine that deals with the creation of detailed images of the internal structures of the human body for the purpose of diagnosing disease, and to a lesser extent, administering therapeutic treatments.
Before 1972, what was commonly called radiology was generally limited to examinations of the skeletal system, the digestive tract and the vessels of the circulatory system. The organs of the digestive tract and blood vessels could only be seen under x-ray examination with the aid of a substance introduced into them. For the digestive tract, the element barium, mixed with water, is used. For blood vessels, an iodine preparation is injected
directly into an artery or vein.
More About Radiologic Science
After 1972, and especially in the 1980s, new innovations in imaging machines led to methods that greatly improved upon, and sometimes replaced, the methods that had been used for 75 years.
Today, these unique methods — known as modalities — have become specialties in their own right. There are five major imaging modalities that fall under the umbrella of radiologic science.
Radiologic Science at Oregon Tech
Oregon Tech's radiologic science major begin in 1952 as an associate's degree program. In 1975, under the direction of Charles Jacobi, the university introduced the first bachelor's degree in radiologic science in the United States. In 1994, Oregon Tech dropped the associate's option and began offering the bachelor's program exclusively.
Radiologic science students are required to take courses in four modalities, and may elect to take all five, as well as Quality Assurance. Courses include laboratory exercises using energized x-ray machines, two automatic film processing darkrooms, use of a variety of test equipment, and rotations through the radiography department at Merle West Medical Center, which is across the street from the campus.
Bachelor's degree students receive extensive training in communication skills and business practices, which are important for career-track professional development.
Upon completion of the program, students are eligible to take the radiography examination, administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Technologists who are ARRT registered are qualified to work in any of the modalities.
In addition to the entry-level radiography examination, the ARRT offers advanced registration in the other four imaging modalities, as well as quality assurance. Although it is not yet necessary to hold additional registries to work in the special modalities, it is not uncommon for employers to require it after a technologist has had sufficient supervised experience in that modality.