Radiologic technology programs provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to operate radiologic equipment, like X-ray and MRI machines, as well as handle patient care. Due to the hands-on nature of the field, fully online radiologic technology programs are rare; programs typically combine online coursework with in-person experiences.
Distance learning programs in radiologic technology are most common at the associate's degree level though some schools may offer bachelor's degree programs in similar fields like radiation science.
Associate's Degree in Radiologic Technology
Online associate's degree programs in radiologic technology typically require students to take biology or math courses prior to enrollment. These programs train students to use radiographic equipment, like X-ray, CT and MRI machines, as well as to develop images, adjust exposure levels and position patients. Students who complete these programs are qualified to sit for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam.
Online associate's degree programs consist of core courses in radiologic imaging, radiologic procedures, imaging equipment and medical terminology. Online learners may also complete faculty-led courses in:
- Radiologic technology ethical issues
- Human anatomy
- Patient care
- Radiologic pathology
- Radiologic biology
Bachelor's Degree in Radiation Science
The primary purpose of online bachelor's degree programs in radiation science is to develop clinical competency in radiography and advanced imaging, as well as to help students develop exposure to radiologic healthcare administration. These programs are typically geared toward associate's-holding ARRTs.
Online coursework covers pathophysiologic mechanisms, medical physics, computed tomography protocols and magnetic resonance imaging protocols. Additional coursework may include studies of the following:
- Advanced modalities
- Principles in radiographic exposure
- Radiographic procedures
- Advanced radiologic science
Radiologic technology programs presented in distance learning format typically follow the same faculty-led curriculum as traditional, on-campus programs; however, coursework, lectures and interactions are presented via Internet-based course management systems and online communications tools. Interaction with peers, instructors and tech support is accomplished through e-mail, discussion boards and instant messaging technologies. Externships and clinical hours may be completed on campus or at a nearby training facility.
Radiologic technology distance learning programs are available at both associate's and bachelor's levels. Due to the nature of the field, courses may require contact time in the form of clinicals.