Online Radiology Certification and Certificate Info
Prospective students who want to pursue a certificate in radiologic technology can find fully accredited programs by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) in on-campus formats. Online and hybrid programs are offered to post-baccalaureate students and working dental assistants. Completion of these programs can lead to certification by the ARRT and preparedness for the appropriate state-administered licensing exam.
Online educational certificate programs in radiologic technology are available to those who've completed a bachelor's degree program and to those working as dental assistants. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the most common educational path for radiologic technologists is an associate's degree program. Check for state-specific education and certification or licensing requirements, since radiologic technologists are required to hold professional credentials in most states.
Overview of a Certificate Program in Radiologic Technology
These programs help aspiring radiologic technicians reach their career goals in fields including diagnostic imaging, x-ray technology, magnetic resonance imaging, mammography and radiation therapy. Programs are primarily only available in on-campus formats; however, some certificate programs are offered to dental assistants and post-baccalaureate students in a hybrid (partially online) format. Individuals must have a high-school diploma or its GED equivalent to enroll. Many certificate programs work in conjunction with Associate of Science or Bachelor of Science programs in radiology, and students can often elect to continue their studies in radiology in these programs after earning their certificate.
Program Information and Requirements
The average length of certificate programs in radiologic technology is two years, including summer sessions. Students combine traditional classroom instruction with on-site training at local clinical facilities. Some facilities require them to undergo a background check to be accepted into the program. After completing the program, graduates can apply to be registered as a certified radiologic technician by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.
List of Common Radiologic Technology Courses
Fundamentals of Radiologic Technology Course
This course provides an overview of the basic concepts of radiologic technology. Topics include safety and protection, the history of radiography, roles of radiographers, technical factors and medical terminology.
Patient Care and Ethics Course
Students train in the proper procedural techniques when handling patients during radiography sessions. Concepts include the observation of vital signs, sterilization, first-aid, operating room procedures and tray setup.
Radiographic Positioning Course
This multi-level course provides an in-depth survey of the variety of positioning techniques that radiologic technicians must use to create diagnostic images. Students simulate the production of images of lower body, abdomen, bony thorax, spinal column, alimentary canal, reproductive systems and other bodily systems.
Certification, Licensure and Career Information
Individuals need to take a state-administered exam to practice as a licensed radiologic technician in most regions of the U.S. This process varies by state; however, 36 states factor in AART certification scores or use ARRT-supplied exams for this purpose as of 2011. In the same year, the BLS reported that the expected employment growth for radiologic technologists and technicians was 28% (job growth faster than the average for all occupations) between 2010 and 2020. The BLS also cited that the mean annual wage for radiologic technologists was $54,620 as of May 2012 (www.bls.gov).
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