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Online CAT Scan Technology Schools and Colleges: How to Choose

Learn about important considerations when selecting an online CAT scan technology school. Keep reading to get an overview of the program options, hands-on requirements, and common courses offered for the field of study.

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When searching for online training in CAT scan technology, a program's format, certification options and internship opportunities should influence your decision. Typically, online CAT scan programs are available only at the certificate level.

How to Select an Online CAT Scan Technology School

Students considering online CAT Scan Technology schools must make their decision based on several key factors. A CAT (computed axial tomography) scan or CT (computed tomography) uses x-rays to produce 2D or 3D images. Radiologic technologists, also known as radiographers, perform this medical imaging technique. CAT scan programs are generally hybrid in nature with online courses and an in-person clinical component. To complete the online portion of the program, students must have a computer and a high speed Internet connection. Most schools use a content delivery system, such as Blackboard or WebCT. Students must also weigh their certification choices.

Program Type and Availability

Although mechanical engineering and robotics may at times be studied in the same degree program, there are currently no online degrees focusing specifically on both of these fields. Mechanical engineering degrees can be found at the graduate level, and students who wish to study robotics may have to choose a related discipline from which to approach the subject. Robotics degrees with online components usually require students to complete some portion of the program on campus.

Certification

The ultimate goal of enrolling in a CAT scan certificate is to become certified in computed tomography. Therefore, a student should make sure that the program's curriculum meets ARRT's (American Registry of Radiologic Technologists') requirements for certification.

Internships

When choosing a college, a student needs to look closely at the clinical requirements. An institution may require the student to arrange the clinical him or herself. Other schools conduct clinical experiences on-campus, perhaps on the weekend or during the week. Students must make sure that they are able to attend the clinical portion of the program.

Program Requirements

Prospective students must meet the admission criteria of the certificate program. Generally, an applicant must have earned a degree in radiology from an accredited institution and have NMTCB (Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board) or ARRT certification. Both radiography and nuclear medicine technology are supporting technologies for computed tomography.

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Online CAT Scan Program

CAT Scan or Computed Tomography Certificate

Online CAT scan or computed tomography programs are usually available as hybrid certificates. They are composed of online classes and clinical experiences that must be completed in a hospital or on-campus. Bachelor's degrees in radiology or medical imaging with an emphasis in computed tomography exist, but are generally not offered online. The number of online courses students are required to complete varies, ranging from two courses to five. Students may take courses in:

  • CT methodology and equipment
  • Sectional anatomy
  • Patient management
  • Instrumentation and safety
  • Quality management

Schools with Online Programs in CAT Scan Technology

Baptist Health System School of Health Professionals offers a hybrid CT certificate program that prepares students for certification exams offered by the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board (NMTCB) or the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Applicants should already have completed a program approved by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) and be registered as radiologic or nuclear medicine technologists through one of these two organizations. Program requirements include online courses and clinical experiences.

Midwestern State University also has a hybrid CT certificate program that readies current technologists and students pursuing the school's radiologic technology bachelor's degree program for ARRT certification through a combination of online courses and on-site clinical experiences. Residents of certain states might not be able to take online courses at Midwestern State, so it is important to check with admissions prior to application. Another important consideration is that this program does not help students make the necessary arrangements to fulfill the program's clinical experience requirement, so students need to find a clinical setting on their own.

Yet another ARRT-based CT program is available through Greenville Technical College (GTC). Applicants should already be ARRT or NMTCB certified technologists or radiation therapists and must complete an online 'career talk' session prior to applying. GTC assures that clinical experiences can be arranged near students' homes. The remaining program requirements can be completed online.

There is no way to become a CT or CAT scan technologist in an online-only format due to clinical requirements, but hybrid program options may still be available through some schools to reduce scheduling constraints. These programs offer online coursework in addition to hands-on experiences at nearby clinics to certified professionals who wish to advance their careers.

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