Clinical Applications Specialists
Education and Training Requirements
In high school, take classes in biology, chemistry, health, physics, mathematics, and computer science. You’ll need strong writing and oral communication skills, so be sure to take speech and English courses.
Educational requirements for clinical applications specialists vary by employer and job duties. At a few firms, CASs may need just a high school diploma and on-the-job training, but the majority of employers require at least an associate’s, but preferably a bachelor’s, degree. Some CASs have degrees in information technology. Others have degrees in nursing, biomedical engineering, medical informatics, biomedical equipment repair, radiography, radiation therapy, nuclear medicine, diagnostic medical sonography, or other health-related fields.
Many community colleges and four-year universities offer certificates in allied health, medical technology, information technology, and other areas that might be of interest to clinical applications specialists. Contact schools in your area to learn about available programs.
Other Education or Training
Clinical applications specialists continue to learn throughout their careers via classes and seminars on current or new products provided by their employers, or by pursuing continuing education opportunities that are offered by professional associations in their practice areas. For example, members of the American Society of Radiologic Technologists can take classes in areas such as radiography, computed tomography, magnetic resonance, radiation therapy, and sonography, as well as courses in leadership and patient care and safety.
Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements
Certification or Licensing
There are no specific certification credentials or licensing requirements for clinical applications specialists. Those who become CASs after first working as nurses or in allied health careers typically earn certification in their field, and some may need to be licensed. For example, sonographers may register with the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Radiologic technologists can become certified through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists after graduating from an accredited program in radiography, radiation therapy, or nuclear medicine. The American Nurses Credentialing Center provides a variety of certification credentials to nurses. The Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board also provides certification. Most states require practicing radiologic technologists, nuclear medicine technologists, and sonographers to be licensed. All states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories require a license to practice nursing.
Some employers may require applicants to undergo a background investigation and a drug screening.
Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits
One to three years of experience as an assistant CAS or in the operation of a particular type of medical equipment or software is required to enter this career. Teaching experience in a clinical environment is a plus.
As educators, clinical applications specialists must have exceptional verbal communication, presentation, and teaching skills, but they also need to be good listeners and have a calm and patient personality in order to interact effectively with end-users and understand the challenges and frustrations they face as they learn to use new technology. Other important traits include strong problem-solving and analytical skills, the ability to handle multiple priorities and work in a sometimes fast-paced environment, self-motivation, and excellent organizational, project management, and computer skills. Finally, functional and technical expertise in their particular field (e.g., nuclear medicine imaging, sonography, etc.) is extremely important.