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School of Radiologic Technology

Minneapolis VA Health Care System has the only VA radiologic technology training program in the nation, graduating hundreds of students who have gone on to successful radiologic technology and radiology-related careers.

The Minneapolis VA Health Care System School of Radiologic Technology was founded in 1965, but students were training at the hospital long before the school was formally established. With advances in medical technology, and as higher standards were required of radiation workers, VA established an accredited program in 1966-67.

Radiologic technology students at Minneapolis VA serve a network, the Veteran's Integrated Service Network (VISN) 23, that provides health care to Veterans in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and bordering states of Kansas, Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Minneapolis VA Health Care System is affiliated with 50 schools to provide allied health training in 19 programs.

Mission, purpose, goals and accreditation

Program mission

It is the mission of the Minneapolis VA School of Radiologic Technology to educate radiologic technologists who recognize patient needs, who hold the skills, knowledge and attitudes required for safe, diagnostic radiology and who are registry eligible upon program completion.

Purpose

The purpose of the Minneapolis VA School of Radiologic Technology is to prepare graduates with entry-level skills, knowledge and attitudes of a staff technologist through successful completion of clinical and academic objectives.

Goals and outcomes

  • Outcome 1: Students will be able to position patients to produce a diagnostic image.
  • Outcome 2: Students will be able to adjust technical factors to produce diagnostic images.
  • Outcome 3: Students will use correct measures to protect the customers from radiation.
  • Outcome 1: Students will be able to distinguish between a diagnostic/ non-diagnostic image.
  • Outcome 2: Students will be able to adjust standard positioning to accommodate physical needs of a patient.
  • Outcome 1: Students will demonstrate effective written and oral communication.
  • Outcome 2: Students will demonstrate effective use of verbal and non-verbal communication.
  • Outcome 3: Students will practice radiography characterized by the use of appropriate communication skills including the ability to read, comprehend, and analyze information.
  • Outcome 1: Students will have the knowledge to demonstrated professional behavior in the clinical setting.
  • Outcome 2: Student will participate in student professional organization.

Accreditation by JRCERT

The VA School of Radiologic Technology currently has a 5-year accreditation, to be renewed in 2023, from the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). This committee establishes, maintains and promotes the educational standards of the profession. The U.S. Department of Education recognizes the JRCERT as the accrediting body of educational programs in radiography.

Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT)
20 North Wacker Drive
Suite 2850
Chicago, Illinois 60606-3182

Phone: 312-704-5300
Fax: 312-704-5304
Email: mail@jrcert.org
Website: www.jrcert.org

Application process

The prospective student's application materials, personal references and transcripts must be received by the closing date each year. The closing date for the next class is 4:00 p.m. January 7, 2022. Documents received after this date and time will not be considered.

Things you must send

  1. Application packet 2022: Filled out (see forms listed below).

  2. Resume: Include Social Security number

  3. Narrative Statement: A typed, short narrative statement explaining your interest in radiography. The statement may include why you want to enter the radiography profession, any related medical experience you may have, why you would like to be part of the VA Health Care System's program or any personal motivations for applying to this school.

  4. Education Transcripts: Officials Transcripts that confirm completion of a baccalaureate degree program (see details in the applicant packet). Send directly to:

    Veterans Affairs Medical Center
    Attention: Sharon Collins or Bradley Johnson
    School of Radiologic Technology-114
    One Veterans Drive
    Minneapolis, MN 55417

  5. Three Letters of Reference: Send letters directly to:

    Veterans Affairs Medical Center
    Attention: Sharon Collins or Bradley Johnson
    School of Radiologic Technology-114
    One Veterans Drive
    Minneapolis, MN 55417

  6. Technical Standards Form: Signed (see forms listed below).

Curriculum sequence (2021-22)

Patient Care in Radiography

The radiography technologist provides for the patient's physical and psychological needs. Along with communication skills, body mechanics, isolation and aseptic techniques, students learn the care of IV's and drainage tubes. Emergency protocol and contrast reactions are also taught. Students complete CPR certification and achieve competency in venipuncture. 

Medical Terminology I

In this course students learn to recognize and build medical terms after learning the meaning of word parts. The application of radiographic terms will be discussed. The course is based on a systems approach. Students will also learn how to interpret and use common medical abbreviations and symbols. 

Radiologic Procedures I

This course will provide the student with the knowledge necessary to perform radiographic procedures relative to the thoracic and abdominal cavities, upper extremities including shoulder girdle, and lower extremities excluding the hip. Emphasis will be on radiographic terms, positioning, manipulation of radiographic equipment and accessories and related patient care considerations. Portable radiographs will be introduced. 

Radiographic Exposure and Technique I

This course covers an introduction to the scientific principles that govern radiographic exposure factors. Topics include density, contrast, detail and distortion. Photographic and geometric properties of radiographs are discussed. This course is designed to create a foundation of knowledge upon which an understanding of the principles that govern radiographic technique and quality can be built. During this course students learn the procedure for processing radiographic film. Dark room location and operation, film composition, film holders, intensifying screens and processing chemicals are discussed. 

Radiologic Procedures I Lab

Instructors demonstrate projections, which will best demonstrate the anatomy learned during didactic learning. Students also will demonstrate projection they have learned. 

Clinical

The student’s clinical experience includes performing as an actual member of the health care team. The clinical training plan will focus on patient care, protocol in the health care facility and imaging department, and on identification of diagnostic equipment and supplies. Students will also practice interpreting general radiographic considerations. Emphasis will be radiographic positioning and manipulation of radiographic equipment and accessories related to radiography.

The student will continue to acquire and build skills while performing radiographic procedures. The student will continue to increase skill in portable radiography.

Students are required to demonstrate competency in regular radiographic areas and procedures, also pediatrics and trauma. Competency is achieved in studies requiring the use of contrast agents, especially those of the digestive and urinary systems. In addition, the student is introduced to specialized studies of the vascular system, computed tomography, digital imaging, magnetic resonance, mammography and ultrasound. This course emphasizes the development of independence, discretion and judgment by the student while performing radiographic procedures. The student is expected to correlate all clinical and didactic experience while demonstrating proficiency and efficiency. 

Radiologic Procedures II

This course provides students with the knowledge necessary to perform radiographic procedures relative to the lower limb, vertebral column to include pelvis, and bony thorax along with soft tissues of the chest. Emphasis will be on radiographic terms, positioning, manipulation of radiographic equipment and accessories, and related patient care considerations.

(Prerequisites: Rad. Proc. I) 

Radiologic Procedures II Lab

Instructors demonstrate projections which will best demonstrate the anatomy learned during didactic learning. Students also will demonstrate projection they have learned. 

Medical Terminology II

This is a continuation of Medical Terminology I. Students continue to learn to recognize and build medical terms after learning the meaning of word parts. The application of radiographic terms will be discussed. The course is based on a systems approach. Students will also learn how to interpret and use common medical abbreviations and symbols.

(Prerequisite: Medical Term. I) 

Radiographic Exposure and Technique II

Emphasis is on radiographic image quality through presentation of prime exposure factors and their effect on radiographic quality. Students will be involved in solving technical problems and making technical adjustments related to prime exposure factors.

(Prerequisites: Radiographic Exposure I) 

Clinical

The student’s clinical experience includes performing as an actual member of the health care team. The clinical training plan will focus on patient care, protocol in the health care facility and imaging department, and on identification of diagnostic equipment and supplies. Students will also practice interpreting general radiographic considerations. Emphasis will be radiographic positioning and manipulation of radiographic equipment and accessories related to radiography.

The student will continue to acquire and build skills while performing radiographic procedures. The student will continue to increase skill in portable radiography.

Students are required to demonstrate competency in regular radiographic areas and procedures, also pediatrics and trauma. Competency is achieved in studies requiring the use of contrast agents, especially those of the digestive and urinary systems. In addition, the student is introduced to specialized studies of the vascular system, computed tomography, digital imaging, magnetic resonance, mammography and ultrasound. This course emphasizes the development of independence, discretion and judgment by the student while performing radiographic procedures. The student is expected to correlate all clinical and didactic experience while demonstrating proficiency and efficiency. 

Radiographic Procedures III

This course provides the student knowledge necessary to perform radiographic procedures relative to the gallbladder and biliary ducts, upper and lower gastrointestinal track, urinary system. Emphasis will be on anatomy, radiographic terms, positioning and patient considerations related to radiography.

(Prerequisites: Rad. Proc. I, II) 

Radiologic Procedures III Lab

Instructors demonstrate projections, which will best demonstrate the anatomy learned during didactic learning. Students also will demonstrate projection they have learned. 

Radiation Biology/Protection

This course is a study of the principles of cell radiation interaction. Students study factors affecting cell response to acute and chronic results of radiation. Principles of radiation protection and responsibility by the radiographer to patients, personnel and the public are presented. Regulatory policy is discussed. Basic principles of measurement, energy, atomic structure, electricity, magnetism and their application to radiation production take place in this course. Students also study x-ray production, scatter radiation and x-ray circuitry.

(Prerequisites: Physics I, II, and III) 

Clinical

The student’s clinical experience includes performing as an actual member of the health care team. The clinical training plan will focus on patient care, protocol in the health care facility and imaging department, and on identification of diagnostic equipment and supplies. Students will also practice interpreting general radiographic considerations. Emphasis will be radiographic positioning and manipulation of radiographic equipment and accessories related to radiography.

The student will continue to acquire and build skills while performing radiographic procedures. The student will continue to increase skill in portable radiography.

Students are required to demonstrate competency in regular radiographic areas and procedures, also pediatrics and trauma. Competency is achieved in studies requiring the use of contrast agents, especially those of the digestive and urinary systems. In addition, the student is introduced to specialized studies of the vascular system, computed tomography, digital imaging, magnetic resonance, mammography and ultrasound. This course emphasizes the development of independence, discretion and judgment by the student while performing radiographic procedures. The student is expected to correlate all clinical and didactic experience while demonstrating proficiency and efficiency. 

Radiographic Procedures IV

This course emphasizes the basic radiographic procedures and positioning related to paranasal sinuses, temporal bones, facial and cranial bones. Students continue to develop the knowledge necessary to completely perform radiographic procedures relative to the bony thoracic, spine, extremities, trauma exams and other procedures previously covered.

(Prerequisites: (Rad. Proc. I, II, III) 

Radiologic Procedures IV Lab

Instructors demonstrate projections, which will best demonstrate the anatomy learned during didactic learning. Students also will demonstrate projection they have learned. 

Physics I

This course covers the fundamentals of physics. Material covered includes specific concepts of radiation science through electromagnetism. 

Medical Law and Ethics

The fundamentals of bioethics, ethical codes, confidentiality, patient rights and humanistic health care are taught in this course. Legal terminology, legal judgment, legal documents and litigation are also discussed. 

Clinical

The student’s clinical experience includes performing as an actual member of the health care team. The clinical training plan will focus on patient care, protocol in the health care facility and imaging department, and on identification of diagnostic equipment and supplies. Students will also practice interpreting general radiographic considerations. Emphasis will be radiographic positioning and manipulation of radiographic equipment and accessories related to radiography.

The student will continue to acquire and build skills while performing radiographic procedures. The student will continue to increase skill in portable radiography.

Students are required to demonstrate competency in regular radiographic areas and procedures, also pediatrics and trauma. Competency is achieved in studies requiring the use of contrast agents, especially those of the digestive and urinary systems. In addition, the student is introduced to specialized studies of the vascular system, computed tomography, digital imaging, magnetic resonance, mammography and ultrasound. This course emphasizes the development of independence, discretion and judgment by the student while performing radiographic procedures. The student is expected to correlate all clinical and didactic experience while demonstrating proficiency and efficiency. 

Physics II

This course will provide the student with knowledge of the equipment used routinely to produce diagnostic images. Imaging modalities, including fluoroscopy, automatic exposure devises and conventional tomography and various recording media techniques will be discussed.

(Prerequisites: Physics I, II) 

Radiographic Pathology I

This course will provide the student with the concepts of disease and its effects on the human body. Pathology and diseases as they relate to various radiographic procedures and radiographs will be discussed.

(Prerequisites: Clinical, Radiographic Procedures I, II, III, IV)

Clinical

The student’s clinical experience includes performing as an actual member of the health care team. The clinical training plan will focus on patient care, protocol in the health care facility and imaging department, and on identification of diagnostic equipment and supplies. Students will also practice interpreting general radiographic considerations. Emphasis will be radiographic positioning and manipulation of radiographic equipment and accessories related to radiography.

The student will continue to acquire and build skills while performing radiographic procedures. The student will continue to increase skill in portable radiography.

Students are required to demonstrate competency in regular radiographic areas and procedures, also pediatrics and trauma. Competency is achieved in studies requiring the use of contrast agents, especially those of the digestive and urinary systems. In addition, the student is introduced to specialized studies of the vascular system, computed tomography, digital imaging, magnetic resonance, mammography and ultrasound. This course emphasizes the development of independence, discretion and judgment by the student while performing radiographic procedures. The student is expected to correlate all clinical and didactic experience while demonstrating proficiency and efficiency. 

Radiographic Pathology II

This class is a continuation of the Radiographic Pathology I, where the students continue to learn about the effect of diseases on the human body.

(Prerequisites: Clinical, Radiographic Procedures I, II, III, IV, Radiographic Pathology I)

Radiographic Procedures V

This course emphasizes the basic radiographic procedures and positioning related to special imaging to include by not limited to mammography, interventional, cardiac, oncology, ultrasound and bone density. The following areas are reviewed also: mobile, c-arm, surgical, digital and trauma.

(Prerequisites: Rad. Procedures I, II, III, IV) 

Clinical

The student’s clinical experience includes performing as an actual member of the health care team. The clinical training plan will focus on patient care, protocol in the health care facility and imaging department, and on identification of diagnostic equipment and supplies. Students will also practice interpreting general radiographic considerations. Emphasis will be radiographic positioning and manipulation of radiographic equipment and accessories related to radiography.

The student will continue to acquire and build skills while performing radiographic procedures. The student will continue to increase skill in portable radiography.

Students are required to demonstrate competency in regular radiographic areas and procedures, also pediatrics and trauma. Competency is achieved in studies requiring the use of contrast agents, especially those of the digestive and urinary systems. In addition, the student is introduced to specialized studies of the vascular system, computed tomography, digital imaging, magnetic resonance, mammography and ultrasound. This course emphasizes the development of independence, discretion and judgment by the student while performing radiographic procedures. The student is expected to correlate all clinical and didactic experience while demonstrating proficiency and efficiency. 

Cross Sectional Anatomy

This class provides students with the tools for understanding anatomy in three dimensions. Students will be able to visualize the appearance and the relationships in planar sections following completion of this material. Concentration will be on cranial, thoracic, abdominal, and pelvic structures. A field trip to the laboratory will be completed during this material

(Prerequisite: Anatomy I, II, and III) 

Registry Review I

This course is a review of all information given during the students’ time spent in the classroom. The review can consist of mock registry test, worksheets for review, student instruction with guidance of the instructors.

Topics in Radiology

This course provides the student with the opportunity to investigate and participate in a radiologic technology facet of their choosing. Emphasis will be placed on areas of specialization and career options and mobility.

Clinical

The student’s clinical experience includes performing as an actual member of the health care team. The clinical training plan will focus on patient care, protocol in the health care facility and imaging department, and on identification of diagnostic equipment and supplies. Students will also practice interpreting general radiographic considerations. Emphasis will be radiographic positioning and manipulation of radiographic equipment and accessories related to radiography.

The student will continue to acquire and build skills while performing radiographic procedures. The student will continue to increase skill in portable radiography.

Students are required to demonstrate competency in regular radiographic areas and procedures, also pediatrics and trauma. Competency is achieved in studies requiring the use of contrast agents, especially those of the digestive and urinary systems. In addition, the student is introduced to specialized studies of the vascular system, computed tomography, digital imaging, magnetic resonance, mammography and ultrasound. This course emphasizes the development of independence, discretion and judgment by the student while performing radiographic procedures. The student is expected to correlate all clinical and didactic experience while demonstrating proficiency and efficiency.

Registry Review II

This course is a review of all information given during the students’ time spent in the classroom. The review can consist of mock registry test, worksheets for review, student instruction with guidance of the instructors. 

Total Quality Management

This course provides the students with a systematic process for solving problems within a radiography department. Emphasis is placed on the students actually solving a problem in this radiology department. 

Clinical

The student’s clinical experience includes performing as an actual member of the health care team. The clinical training plan will focus on patient care, protocol in the health care facility and imaging department, and on identification of diagnostic equipment and supplies. Students will also practice interpreting general radiographic considerations. Emphasis will be radiographic positioning and manipulation of radiographic equipment and accessories related to radiography.

The student will continue to acquire and build skills while performing radiographic procedures. The student will continue to increase skill in portable radiography.

Students are required to demonstrate competency in regular radiographic areas and procedures, also pediatrics and trauma. Competency is achieved in studies requiring the use of contrast agents, especially those of the digestive and urinary systems. In addition, the student is introduced to specialized studies of the vascular system, computed tomography, digital imaging, magnetic resonance, mammography and ultrasound. This course emphasizes the development of independence, discretion and judgment by the student while performing radiographic procedures. The student is expected to correlate all clinical and didactic experience while demonstrating proficiency and efficiency. 

Staff

Sharon Collins

MA.Ed, MS, RT(R)
Program Director

Education
RT(R), BS, MS, MA.Ed

Experience
Sharon Collins has 30 years experience as a radiologic technologist. Her background includes experience in Ultrasound, CT, MRI and the Cath Lab as well as general radiography.

She has been an instructor in the field for 15 years at the VA School of Radiologic Technology. She has been an adjunct professor at North Dakota State University and Argosy University.

Bradley J. Johnson

BA, RT(R)
Program Director

Education
RT(R), BA

Experience
Bradley Johnson has 12 years of experience as a radiologic technologist. He is the former Lead Technologist (OR) in the Minneapolis Imaging Department.

He joined the school of Radiologic Technology in 2019 as the Clinical Coordinator.

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