Online radiologic technology bachelor's degree programs are available, typically for working radiologic technologists who already hold a postsecondary certificate or associate's degree. Licensure and/or field experience in radiologic technology may be required in order to enroll. Some hybrid programs in the field may require clinical externships. Online students will need up-to-date operating systems and word processing software.
Most states require radiologic technologists to obtain professional certification, licensing, or registration; check for state-specific regulations when choosing an educational program.
Bachelor's Degree Program in Radiologic Science
Bachelor's degree programs in radiologic science offered via distance learning are typically designed for registered radiologic technologists with some level of college training, such as an associate's degree in radiologic technology. Emphasis is placed on improving the radiologic technologist's performance in areas such as patient care, operation of modality imaging machines and radiographic positioning. Additional focus is placed on improving the student's problem solving, communication and critical thinking skills. Graduates should be well-versed in advanced areas of computed tomography, nuclear medicine imaging and magnetic resonance imaging.
Program Information and Requirements
Online radiologic sciences students are usually required to be registered as radiologic technologists through organizations such as the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Radiologic technologists are often granted credit toward their bachelor's degrees for courses completed as part of certificate or associate degree programs, and earn credit for professional registry credentials.
Factoring in previous coursework and registry credentials, advisors are able to help students outline an individualized course plan. While some programs are offered entirely online, students may be required to complete clinical externships. Some programs even require students to be currently employed by, or to have access to, a radiology laboratory in order to complete the hands-on clinical portions of the program.
Online radiologic science programs typically utilize course management software such as Blackboard, which allows students to access assignments, examinations, discussion sessions, course materials and course syllabi online. Computer requirements may include cable or DSL Internet service, software such as Microsoft Office and an updated operating system such as Windows Vista or Mac OS X 10.3.
Sample Bachelor's-Level Radiologic Science Coursework
A radiologic science bachelor's degree curriculum emphasizes areas such as communications and science, as well as improving the student's performance in patient care and clinical practice. This is achieved through courses in the various specialties within the radiologic sciences and in healthcare leadership.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
An online magnetic resonance imaging course explores the technical and physical fundamentals of MRI scanning. Topics covered include contrast imaging, secondary coil fields, quality control methods, scanning protocols and image characteristics.
This course uses magnetic resonance and computed tomography images to study human anatomy. Students study body parts such as the spine, chest and cranium.
This course emphasizes leadership and planning techniques for healthcare managers. The course covers healthcare promotion, organizational structures, management theories and operational planning.
A mammography course covers proper mammographic examination positioning and exposure techniques. The course also covers mammography instrumentation, quality control, patient education and radiation safety.
Career Information for Graduates
Radiologic technologists are often employed in settings such as local and national health agencies, hospitals, general medical centers, doctors' offices and outpatient care centers. An online bachelor's degree completion program increases practicing radiologic technologists' chances for promotion opportunities. They also prepare graduates for additional career opportunities in education, applications, research, sales and management.
The bachelor's degree completion program may also serve as a bridge for radiologic technologists looking to pursue master's degrees in related healthcare professions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for radiologic technologists was expected to grow by 9% from 2014-2024, faster than the average for all occupations. The BLS also reports radiologic technologists had median annual earnings of just over $56,670 as of May 2015 (www.bls.gov).
Fully online bachelor's degree programs in radiologic technology are available for students who are already working and/or licensed in the field. These programs provide further study in topics like magnetic resonance imaging, healthcare management and cross-sectional anatomy.