Advanced Medical Imaging Programs

MRI image of the brain

TMCC offers two Advanced Medical Imaging Skills Certificate Programs: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computed Tomography (CT).

MRI is a technique that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the organs and tissues within your body. Most MRI machines are large, tube-shaped magnets. When you lie inside an MRI machine, the magnetic field temporarily realigns hydrogen atoms in your body.

CT, also know as CT scan or CAT scan, is a specialized test that produces cross-sectional images of the body using x-rays and a computer. These high-resolution images help assist the doctor in making a diagnosis which cannot typically be seen on plain x-ray images. CT is a commonly performed procedure in many radiology departments and many radiology departments are looking for technologists who have both radiography and CT certifications through the ARRT for entry level positions.

The American Registry for Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) outlines how to qualify for certification in these modalities. The ARRT outlines two avenues to take certification examinations. These are Primary Pathway and Post Primary Pathway. Students wishing to become MRI certified may complete programs that are either primary or post primary pathways Students wishing to become CT certified may only complete a post primary pathway program which requires you to already be a registered technologist with the ARRT.


AMI Programs Certificate Mission

The mission of TMCC’s AMI programs is to provide general and basic science education, combined with a sound foundation in the theory and art of MRI or CT to meet the educational needs of the student.

This is evidenced by a competency-based program employing various teaching methodologies and technologies delivered through quality education. Graduates will have the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully take the American Registry of Radiologic Technologist’s (ARRT) examination for MRI or CT and practice as a member of the health care team.


Admission Criteria for MRI or CT

The TMCC skills certificates in MRI or CT are on-line programs where the student completes all the didactic courses needed to take the national ARRT certification examination in MRI or CT. The ARRT requires that clinical competencies be completed before making application for the ARRT certification examination. TMCC offers a clinical internship for students needing this component who are not able to cross-train in the facility where they are employed.

Prerequisites

Note: all degrees must be from an accredited institution acceptable to the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).

  • CT or MRI (Post Primary Pathway): Must possess ARRT certification (or equivalent) with a minimum of an associate degree or higher. Certification can be in:
    • Radiography or Radiation therapy (preferred)
    • Nuclear medicine
    • Sonography
  • - Or -
  • MRI only (Primary Pathway): Associate degree in an allied health profession that has a clinical component and the applicant must obtain permission from the Radiologic Technology Program Director before applying. Program Director’s permission requires additional qualifications be satisfied before applying to the MRI skills certificate program. Please contact us for a list of the qualifications.

Curriculum Requirements

Please review the MRI or CT Program Requirements in the TMCC College Catalog:

Note: Both the MRI and CT Skills Certificates can be obtained without the clinical internship (AMI 290); however, in order to take the ARRT certification examination, you must document the required competencies (MRI or CT) with the ARRT.

ARRT Competency Requirements

Before the graduate student is allowed to take the ARRT national certification examination, documentation of specific clinical competencies are required for both MRI and CT. Completion of the required competencies may be achieved by one of two different options:

  1. Find a clinical site that is willing to train you in their medical facility (not as a TMCC Clinical Internship student) in order for you to complete the required ARRT competencies and document them directly with the ARRT. This option may be available to students if the medical facility where they are currently employed is willing to cross-train them in the modality (CT or MRI) they are requesting, as a paid employee.
  2. Complete the required ARRT competencies by enrolling in TMCC’s clinical internship course (AMI 290). In the program application, students selecting this option will identify the medical facility where they will be completing their competency requirements. TMCC has affiliation agreements with medical facilities in the Reno/Carson area. Students selecting medical facilities without an affiliation agreement, usually outside the Reno/Carson area, should submit their application as soon as possible in order for the program to obtain an affiliation agreement with the medical facility that the student wishes to utilize for their ARRT competency requirement. The medical facility must have an articulation agreement with TMCC before the student may begin their internship.

Finding A Clinical Education Site

Prospective students will need to search out a medical facility in their geographical location that performs the exams needed for their ARRT competency requirements. Speak with the manager of the radiology department to see if they would be willing to allow you, the student, in their department as a TMCC student. If the manager agrees, the prospective student will include the appropriate information on the TMCC AMI Program application. The application will ask for the radiology manager’s name, e-mail, and phone number. The application will also ask for the modality (CT or MRI) department supervisor’s name and contact information.

Note: The application does not require the student to speak with the radiology manager regarding clinical education at their site but the manager may not be willing to accept a student who has not contacted them directly first.

Once the student submits the TMCC AMI Program application, TMCC personnel in the radiologic technology program will contact the medical facility and initiate the affiliation agreement process. Affiliation agreements are usually not difficult to obtain but in some instances it can take several months (or more) to complete the agreement. That is why we recommend you submit your application as early as possible.

Students employed at a medical facility that is willing to cross-train them as a paid employee in order to complete the ARRT competency requirements do not need to take the AMI 290 internship course but must still submit the radiology managers contact information on the TMCC AMI Application in order for the program to verify clinical education status.

Clinical Education Sites for MRI or CT must perform the exams needed to complete the ARRT required competencies in their respective modality (CT or MRI). The ARRT’s required competencies can be found on ARRT’s website under Clinical Experience Requirements. Click on your specific modality (CT or MRI) to identify the “Specific Procedural Requirements” to identify the performance requirements for the ARRT.

Please contact us if you need further assistance.

MRI image of the spine


Steps to Apply to the Online MRI or CT Programs

  1. Apply to the College
    View TMCC's Steps to Enroll to find out more about becoming a student at TMCC. You will need to submit your official transcripts from any higher education institution you've attended.
  2. Choose A Clinical Education Site
    • In order to complete the ARRT competency requirements, students must find a medical facility (Clinical Education Site) willing to allow them to do their ARRT competency examinations.
    • You will be asked to enter detailed Clinical Education Site information on the AMI Program Application.
  3. AMI Program Application
    Submit the online AMI Program Application including copies of your ARRT credentials and unofficial transcripts verifying your degree by the extended deadline of May 28.


Selection Process

Selection to TMCC’s Advanced Medical Imaging (AMI) programs are based on application submission date and information obtained from the admission requirements.

Admission will be offered to the first 20 qualified applicants in each modality (CT or MRI). Eligible students are ranked in order of the following:

  1. Former TMCC Radiography/Medical Imaging graduate.
    • Application submission date
  2. Medical Imaging certified applicants (ARRT or equivalent)
    • Application submission date
  3. Other students with acceptable applications (MRI only)

Estimated Expenses and Program-Related Costs

Please visit TMCC's College Catalog for tuition and fees.

Note: there may be some additional costs besides those listed below. Students may already have some or all of the below requirements.

Expenses
Background check $50
Books (approximation for entire program) $500
Drug testing $50
Health Care Provider CPR Card (must remain current) $50
Health Insurance Varies
Immunizations $250
Miscellaneous (patches, 2 semester ID badges, etc.) $100
Uniforms (scrubs and lab coat) $250
Estimated Overall Costs (without health insurance) $1,235

After Being Selected for Admission

In response to a letter from the program director, students will submit the following documentation by the due date indicated.

  1. Evidence of current major medical insurance coverage.
  2. Evidence of two-step negative TB skin tests done in the past year within 3 months of each other, or 3 consecutive years of tests without expiration. Quantiferon tests are acceptable.
    Persons with a prior positive TB test must see program director.
  3. Evidence of required immunization status for Hepatitis B, Varicella, MMR, TDaP or TD, and influenza vaccination.
  4. Evidence of a current Health Care Provider CPR card (preferably from the American Heart Association).
  5. A background check.
  6. A drug test.
  7. Any additional clinical site documentation

Progression in the Program

Progression in the program is contingent upon maintaining a grade of C (75%) or better in all courses.


AMI Program Outcomes

CT Skills Certificate

Students completing the CT certificate will:

  • List and describe patient safety issues for CT Scanning
  • Identify cross-sectional anatomy and pathology to cover the entire human body
  • Define and describe imaging techniques for the entire human body to include patient positioning, protocols, scan sequences, advanced imaging, and post processing procedures.

MRI Skills Certificate

Students completing the MRI certificate will:

  • Learn patient screening procedures, safety issues, biological considerations, MR terminology, imaging principles, and physics.
  • Learn cross-sectional anatomy and pathology to cover the entire human body.
  • Learn imaging techniques of the entire human body to include patient positioning, protocols, pulse sequences, advanced imaging and post-processing procedures.