MISSOULA – Montana communities now have the opportunity to invest in their workforce and in the future of radiology. Missoula College of the University of Montana will offer the state’s first online Computerized Tomography certificate beginning spring semester 2016.
CT is an imaging procedure that uses special X-ray equipment to create detailed, cross-sectional scans of areas inside the body. The five-credit CT certificate, which fulfills the new American Registry of Radiologic Technologists certification requirements, will be available to registered and licensed radiologic technologists and current MC radiology students. The AART requirements will take effect in January 2016.
“More and more jobs are beginning to require a CT certificate,” said Anne Delaney, director of MC’s Radiologic Technology program. “This is a perfect solution for rural hospitals that have a CT scanner but are in need of certified CT technologists.”
The program is a direct response to changing industry standards, which soon will require a classroom component in addition to traditional on-the-job training. The college hopes to attract current professionals working in urban and rural areas across the state through its online course offerings and flexible clinical placement opportunities.
“Missoula College is in a unique position to provide that,” said Dan Funsch, clinical coordinator of MC’s Radiologic Technology program. “Rural facilities find it difficult to retain certified and qualified technicians in CT, and our program will generate a pool of qualified technologists.”
The Montana Department of Labor and Industry has agreed to work with employers to set up an apprenticeship model for qualified candidates, helping them earn while they learn. The apprenticeship agreement would codify a probationary period, incremental wage increases, a requirement to pass the certification exam and a requirement to work for an agreed-upon amount of time once the training is complete. Some employers may sponsor the additional certification of current radiology technicians.
“Montana will be facing a workforce shortage over the next decade in the health care industry,” said Labor and Industry Commissioner Pam Bucy. “Through the Department of Labor and Industry’s collaboration with the Montana University System to train health care professionals, our rural communities will have the skilled and qualified technicians needed for their hospitals and clinics.”
For more information about MC’s health professions programs, call Delaney at 406-243-7809 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.