UPDATED A PRIL 29, 2020
If you’re not quite at the point where you feel that you can stop working to attend a radiologic technologist school full-time, it might make sense to start working toward your radiography degree by going online for some of the general education courses that you’ll need for any college degree you choose. Here’s what you need to know about what classes you can and should take online to help you begin your professional healthcare career.
Online Courses: Begin College from Home
Forward-thinking, healthcare degree-granting universities give students the option of on-campus and online classes for foundational, general education courses like communications, health care terminology, even anatomy, and physiology.
These college courses are usually considered prerequisite courses that a student must complete before being accepted into a radiologic technologist school. For many people, taking classes online works well with their schedules and provides them with convenience and flexibility.
You will find that some prerequisite classes are delivered entirely online. Other online classes are actually considered hybrid or blended classes, which are a combination of both online and traditional face-to-face classroom learning. Colleges define these hybrid classes differently, so it helps to find out how much of the class time will be spent online and how much time will be spent in the classroom.
It pays to ask questions about online class delivery, too. It’s important to know that the online courses are just as rigorous as in-class courses. Also, make sure that online classes use the same standard learning outcomes documents and textbooks as on-campus classes. A college advisor can help you answer these questions.
Radiography Degrees Require In-person Training
Medical imaging under widely different conditions and scenarios requires excellent communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking abilities. Mastering the skills and knowledge needed for such a challenging job environment goes well beyond the intellectual learning gained from online courses.
To be successful as a radiologic technologist, you will need to build and practice physical skills associated with positioning patients and operating equipment. You will also need to gain experience working with and responding to individuals in a variety of imaging situations.
When searching for a radiologic technologist school, you might see information that leads you to believe that becoming a radiologic technologist (earning a radiography degree) can be done completely online. It really can’t.
Hands-on training and personalized instruction are essential in this position. You may find programs offering their core coursework fully online, but look a little further and you’ll realize that the degree program still requires the completion of in-person training at approved facilities for graduation. This in-person instruction and training are required to complete to be eligible for certification and licensure for any accredited program.
What to Look for in a Radiologic Technologist School
You will want to find a program recognized by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) as an approved educational provider of radiography. Such degree programs teach and follow the entire curriculum developed by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT). These programs also help to assure that students will have the foundational knowledge to become radiologic technology professionals and be eligible for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologist (ARRT) certification.
A.A.S. Degree in Radiologic Technology
A radiologic technology program that results in a radiography degree is a two-year, associate degree program. The “applied” part of the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree indicates that the degree is considered a terminal degree, meaning that a person with an A.A.S. degree is planning to enter the workforce following graduation rather than earn an additional degree.
You can earn a four-year bachelor’s degree in radiologic technology, but it’s not a requirement for certification or licensure.
Radiologic technologists must have an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree, which can only come from a degree-granting, accredited college or university. To learn more about ARRT accredited programs, go here.
Early, Extensive Clinical Experience
Early interaction with patients and time in practice labs reinforces deep-level learning, so it’s imperative to have access to equipment rooms, demonstration suites, and human body mannequins for life-like imaging scenarios. Competency in hands-on skills and procedures then leads to actual clinical experiences realized through the university’s network of clinic partners.
If you’re ready to move ahead in life with a radiography degree, don’t be afraid to get the ball rolling by going online – from home. Distance learning via online classes can play a role in your educational experience as long as you get the proper hands-on experience and education this profession requires.
CUKC: Your Radiologic Technologist School
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, healthcare-focused university in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of the Kansas City metro. The University offers an accelerated, two-year Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Radiologic Technology degree.
Prerequisite courses are offered in-class, online, and as hybrids. Prerequisites taken successfully at CUKC can translate into guaranteed acceptance into the professional radiologic technology degree program provided all criteria for the program are met, and all other considerations are satisfactory.
The benefits of the radiography degree program at CUKC include:
Connect with a CUKC advisor today about the advantages of a radiography degree, or choose to get a fast start to a radiologic technology career by downloading the free eBook, Your Complete Guide to Becoming a Radiologic Technologist.