Looking for smart educational options that are not four-year degrees? Many are, and the options are quite impressive. One of the avenues to get to a career in less than four years is to seek an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) – a 2-year degree – in a field that precisely fits your interests, talents, and ambition
Two A.A.S. programs with a healthcare focus are the A.A.S. in Radiologic Technology and the A.A.S. in Occupational Therapy Assistant. The “applied science” part of the degree shows a strong focus on learning the skills and knowledge in two years, not four, while thoroughly preparing you for the credentials employers seek.
There’s never been a better time to go the 2-year degree route because the demand for occupational therapy assistants and radiologic technologists is high, the work is interesting and rewarding, and the salaries are impressive.
Radiologic technologists are medical professionals certified to perform diagnostic imaging examinations. Preferring diagnostic scanning technology methods to invasive techniques is safer for the patient and allows physicians to have better information for their diagnoses.
Radiologic technologists – sometimes called rad techs — have a unique healthcare role. They must be attentive to a patient’s condition while being in charge of the technology needed to produce the precise body images requested.
People who are a good fit for this profession:
1. It’s set up to meet professional licensing requirements
The classes, labs, and experiences within a Radiologic Technology degree program are designed to get you eligible for the national exam to become registered and certified.
Being a graduate of an A.A.S. radiologic technology program is a sign to employers that you’re a well-qualified candidate for a job in this in-demand segment of the healthcare sector.
2. Rad tech instructors have real-world experience
Textbook cases are one thing, but instructors who’ve encountered multiple cases can demonstrate effective ways to work through challenging imaging scenarios. That could range from someone with multiple injuries to someone with limited physical mobility.
3. There’s a big emphasis on high-level patient skills
Employers know “patient care interaction skills” are essential for success. Expect a rad tech degree program to emphasize these along with technical skills. Next-level patient interaction abilities include
4. Clinical experience happens early
For rad techs, early interaction with patients under guided instructions improves learning. After gaining specific competencies, rad tech programs offer clinical experiences – some as early as the second academic term.
With so many imaging techniques and technologies, a radiologic technology program located in an urban area naturally offers students a wide variety of imaging scenarios.
An occupational therapy assistant (OTA) is highly skilled in applying types of interventions (actions, behaviors, plans) to help people achieve health, well-being, and life participation.
Interventions are actions, behaviors, and plans to help people engage in activities that occupy their time. These interventions help achieve health, well-being and to help one participate in life.
Clients’ challenges may be sensory-based, developmental, physical, mental, or emotional. Intervention activities are designed to improve a person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach short- and long-term goals.
When you’re in the workforce, OTAs use a combination of intervention types to help clients reach their goals. You’ll work with clients of all ages and from all backgrounds.
1. Occupations and Activities: Occupations and activities selected as interventions for specific clients are designed to meet therapeutic goals and address the underlying needs of the client’s mind, body, and spirit.
To use occupations and activities in therapy, the practitioner analyzes the activity to determine how difficult it is. The practitioner then uses all the information about the client to help them be successful in the activity.
2. Interventions to Support Occupations: Methods and tasks that prepare the client for participating in activities that occupy one’s time.
3. Education: Providing knowledge and information about occupation, health, well-being, and participation to enable the client to acquire helpful behaviors, habits, and routines
4. Training: Facilitate learning new skills for meeting specific goals in real-life, applied situations. Skills refer to measurable parts of the activity that enable improved function.
5. Advocacy: Efforts to promote occupational justice and empower clients to seek and obtain resources to support health, well-being, and occupational participation.
6. Group Interventions: Use specific knowledge of group dynamics and social interaction and leadership techniques to facilitate learning and skill acquisition across the lifespan. Groups are used as a method of service delivery.
7. Virtual Interventions: Using simulated, real-time, and near-time technologies (for example, telehealth) for treatment.
How and when to use each type, and in what combination, becomes more fully understood after you complete your OTA professional classes and apply that knowledge in Level I and Level II fieldwork experiences.
The goal of guided fieldwork experiences is to expose you to a wide variety of practice settings:
The experience available at an OTA school often depends on the size of the school’s metro area and the structure of the OTA program. Get a better look at what an OTA education is like in this blog.
When considering a healthcare career, make sure you include Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) in your OTA school search.
CUKC is a nonprofit, private, chiropractic and health sciences university in Overland Park, Kansas, a large suburb of Kansas City. CUKC offers a 2-year A.A.S. degree in Occupational Therapy Assistant and an A.A.S. degree in Radiologic Technology.
Our legacy as an educational institution is strong: We’ve graduated more than 10,000 Doctors of Chiropractic since our founding in 1922.
Our commitment to next-level education extends to our 2-year degree programs. Today, both occupational therapy assistants and radiologic technologists are in the top-25 list of “best health care support” jobs by U.S. News & World Report.
Request information now when you want to explore healthcare career opportunities and have up-to-date information about financial aid to get there. You’ll get this free eBook: Your Guide to Navigating College Financial Aid.