Radiologic science degree programs at the bachelor's level are relatively easy to find in an online format. These programs are often intended for practicing radiologic technicians and may be in the format of a bachelor's degree completion program. Professional licensing or certification may be required, but requirements vary by state. Licensing may require the graduate to have completed a program accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT), so check with the requirements in your state before choosing an educational program.
An associate's degree and certification are required in order to gain entry into most of these programs. Over the course of the program, students may be required to complete externships, internships, and proctored exams.
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Bachelor's Degree in Radiology
Those interested in pursuing a bachelor's degree in radiology can do so in an entirely online format. The degree program leads to the Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences (BSRS). These degree programs are generally offered as degree-completion programs that are intended for registered radiologic technicians. An associate's degree in radiologic sciences and certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) are required for entrance into the bachelor's degree-completion program. Students enrolled in this program continue to hone their technical skills while gaining general knowledge through coursework in biology, math, English, nutrition and more.
Program Information and Requirements
The Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science degree-completion program consists of anywhere between 130-202 credit hours. This large range is due to the variety of transfer credits, advanced placement exams and internship credits available. The courses needed to complete the bachelor's degree are all available entirely online, though some proctored exams may need to be taken at specific locations. Additionally, many schools require candidates to participate internships or externships.
The online material is typically presented through an online delivery system like Blackboard. The format is usually asynchronous, which means that lectures are available for viewing and assignments are available for download any time. Assignment deadlines are enforced. Students interact with their instructors and peers through online message boards and e-mail.
The curriculum of a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science degree program is made up of a combination of professional core courses, professional electives, general education courses and additional electives.
Students use imaging technologies such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography (CT) and ultrasound to study human anatomy and the conditions and processes of various diseases. Anatomical parts, including the cranium, chest and spine, are viewed in sectional planes. The difference between planar and sectional anatomy is highlighted.
This course presents a history of breast cancer and mammography technologies. Students learn how to properly carry out mammography exams as well as read and evaluate the resulting data. Patient positioning, quality assurance and radiation safety are also examined. Students are expected to perform mock registry exams as part of the course.
Patient Care, Interaction and Assessment
Methods of dealing with patients of all ages and cultures are detailed. Students learn about the preparation, uses and effects of drugs at a fundamental level. Strategies for managing intravenous and feeding tubes, controlling infection and performing EKGs are also studied. The various routines for emergency and non-emergency patients are identified, as are methods for attending to the physical and mental needs of patients and their families.
Although an associate's degree is the most common path to become a radiologic technician or technologist, a bachelor's degree can provide additional career options and advancements. As of May 2015, the BLS reported 195,590 people employed as radiologic technologists with an average yearly salary of $58,520 (www.bls.gov). The majority of these workers were employed by general medical and surgical hospitals, medical and diagnostic laboratories, physician offices and outpatient care centers. The BLS predicted a faster-than-average occupational growth of 9% for radiologic technicians and technologists over 2014-2024.
The ARRT requires at least 24 hours of continuing education be undertaken every two years in order to keep a certificate valid and current. Many continuing education modules are available entirely online, making this requirement convenient to complete. Online modules involving topics as varied as Alzheimer's disease, bariatric surgery and domestic violence can be taken on one's own schedule while maintaining employment.
A bachelor's degree in radiology can be earned entirely online and are generally intended for current registered radiologic technicians who are looking to advance their education. Students will need to have already earned an associate's degree in radiologic sciences and received their certification from the relevant professional institution to apply to these programs.