Online X-Ray Tech Schools: How to Choose

Jan 02, 2019

Learn about important considerations when selecting an online x-ray tech school. Keep reading to get an overview of the program options, unit transfer opportunities, and common courses offered for the field of study.

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Although online programs exist in radiologic sciences, entry-level x-ray degrees aren't available because of the need for in-person classes. Online bachelor's degree completion programs for students with a 2-year degree in radiologic sciences are fairly easy to find, however.

How to Select an Online X-Ray Tech School

Students considering online x-ray tech schools must make their decision based on several key factors. X-ray technicians, also known as radiologic technicians or radiographers, take diagnostic x-ray images of the internal human body as directed by a physician. Online programs for those just entering the field are not available due to the extensive clinical requirements. However, online bachelor's degree completion programs are available at select colleges. Online bachelor's degree completion programs are designed for working professionals who already hold an associate's degree from an accredited school and certification from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).

Program Type

An online Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences is usually a bachelor's degree completion program for students who hold an associate's degree, and can be completed in 1-2 years. Classes are available online, though there may be a few practical assignments to be completed in the student's workplace. Students participate in online interaction like student learning groups, live chat and discussion forums. They typically access lectures and exams online and can set their own schedules.

Program Goals

Graduates of online schools in x-ray technology are generally prepared for supervisory or managerial roles in their field. These programs can also prepare students to become AART-credentialed in more than one imaging specialty. Upon graduation, students can also explore employment in medical equipment sales or teaching, both of which generally require a bachelor's degree.

Online X-Ray Tech Program

Online Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences

An online bachelor's degree combines the study of advanced x-ray imagining techniques with radiology department management. Students learn about computed tomography, mammography and fluoroscopy, as well as magnetic resonance imaging, sectional anatomy, patient assessment and proper positioning.

Required classes also often include statistics and research methods, critical reasoning, English and interpersonal skills. Students enrolled in a bachelor's degree completion program may be exempt from some of these courses depending on how much transferable coursework they've already completed. Some programs require that students complete a capstone experience synthesizing what they've learned as well as how it can be applied in a workplace setting. Online programs offer students the opportunity to participate with classmates in virtual radiologic case studies. Other courses include:

  • Radiology quality management
  • Patient care
  • Healthcare law
  • Professional ethics
  • Exposure principles

Schools with Online X-Ray Tech Programs

The University of Cincinnati at Blue Ash College has an online Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Technology program. There is no need for any campus attendance for this program, and it is meant to prepare students for careers as a clinical supervisor, chief technologist, or program director. Students do need to complete an in-person internship to graduate. Since this is a degree completion program, applicants must already hold an associate's degree and be certified in the field.

The Oregon Institute of Technology is home to two online programs designed for existing radiologic technologists: a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science, and a Bachelor of Science in Health Care Management. Both programs require an externship on top of students' existing employment as a technologist. Applicants to these programs must hold registration as radiologic technologists from the ARRT.

St. Vincent's College offers an online Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences completion program, which can be pursue by those with an associate's degree or certificate in a field like radiologic technology, nuclear medicine, or radiation therapy. Four separate concentrations exist: Healthcare Management, Women's Imaging, CT Scan and Practicum, and Diagnostic Medical Sonography. The clinical courses in each of these specializations require students to complete in-person practicums at affiliated sites, but other coursework is fully online.

Degree completion programs are available online for current x-ray techs who want to advance their education and careers. Schools that offer these programs typically require applicants to hold an associate's degree or certificate in radiologic sciences, and applicants may also need current registration or certification as a radiologic tech.

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