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Top Radiologic Technology Schools Online

Top Online Radiologic Technology Schools

All surgery carries with it a degree of risk, and to ask a patient to take that risk twice, first to diagnose the problem and then again to correct it, was once the only option. Today the use of radiologic technology allows technicians to peer inside a patient’s body safely, both limiting the use of surgery and its dangers. Fortunately for the patients, the path to become a radiographer requires hands-on training and certification with the sophisticated machines they will be using. Because of this, only students with prior work-experience or certification with radiological equipment can enroll in 100 percent online programs in radiology. Others, newer to the profession, may be able to complete administrative and lecture-oriented courses online, but the hands-on component will be classroom- or lab-based.

No wonder that in 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov, 2012), estimates that employment opportunities for certified radiologic technologists are expected to grow by 28 percent between 2010 and 2020. That’s faster than the expected growth of other occupations throughout the U.S. and even faster than other health technologist occupations as well (BLS.gov, 2012). Online courses have been developed across North America to meet the growing demand for qualified radiological technicians and SchoolsGalore.com can guide you to courses at accredited colleges and universities offering online and hybrid programs in sonography, radiography and anatomical imaging technologies.

Radiologic Technology

Although some radiologic technology training can be completed without on-site attendance, online degree programs in radiologic technology do require practical experience and an externship in a local clinical setting; students also must first obtain an associate degree or bachelor's degree from a college or university approved by The American Medical Association before enrolling. For practicing radiologic technicians, the online programs may enhance your existing practice or prepare you for certification and licensure.

Accredited online colleges and universities can offer online certificates and degrees in radiology with specialties in sonography, x-ray, radiation therapy and magnetic imaging to practicing professionals. Practicing medical professionals can earn an online certificate in radiologic technology in less than a year with no on-site attendance provided they have completed the necessary on-site training. For those without experience seeking an associate or bachelor’s degree, the programs can take between two and four years to complete.

Below are some of the radiologic technology focuses available from schools and colleges through SchoolsGalore.com:

SchoolsGalore.com provides a list of accredited online sonography and radiography schools and colleges where you can complete the administrative and medical components to be a medical imaging technician from your home.

Sonography and Ultrasound

The practice of diagnostic medical sonography uses high-frequency sound waves to construct an image of bodily organs, lesions and fetal growth; this process is commonly known as performing an ultrasound or a sonogram and when performed on the heart, an echocardiogram. The online degree programs offered through SchoolsGalore.com can provide a broad selection of sonography training in medical terminology and interpretation of sonographic imagery, as well as on-site lab experience at local clinical affiliates. Online sonographer certificates are also available to health care professionals who have previous ultrasound experience and a medical background.

Many of the more reputable online schools for sonography can offer you a degree in sonography and prepare you for the specialized certification exam administered by The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. Certification is typically required for licensure, although the requirements can vary from state to state. According to the BLS (BLS.gov, 2012), the national median pay for a diagnostic medical sonographer in May of 2011 was $65,210 per year and the profession is expected to see an employment growth of up to 44 percent from 2010 to 2020 (BLS.gov, 2012).

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Radiographic Imaging

Radiographers specialize in the use x-ray technology and magnetic resonance technology to produce images of broken bones, diseases, growths and other health problems in patients. No longer limited to the two-dimensional world, radiographers specializing in the computed tomography, commonly known as a CT scan, and magnetic resonance imaging can also create three-dimensional images of the human body. These images are invaluable for diagnosing problems in the brain and organs. Radiographers can be found in both hospitals and clinics as well as in the dental office working as radiographic-trained dental assistants.

According to the BLS (BLS.gov, 2012), the national median salary of a radiologic technician, which includes MRI technologists, in May of 2011 was $55,120 per year and the profession is expected see an employment growth of up to 28 percent between 2010 and 2020 (BLS.gov, 2012). Training programs provide students with experience in radiation physics, radiation protection, image evaluation and pathology; certificate programs can usually be completed within 12 months.

Accredited institutions may have radiographic schools may have distance learning programs which make it possible to obtain associate and bachelor’s degrees in radiology without compromising your career. A degree in radiography is important and, starting in 2015, a required step in gaining certification from the ARRT and for state licensing. Many of the online degree programs are designed to complement medical professionals with academic and clinical experience in radiologic technology seeking ARRT certification.

According to the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, radiographic technologists are needed in every health care setting and can specialize in dozens of areas such as prenatal care and orthopedics.

Nuclear Medicine and Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapists combat cancer and other diseases by using highly focused beams of targeted radiation to treat or kill inoperable growths or cancers within the human body. Nuclear medicine technologists operate machines which find the radiation given off by injected radiopharmaceuticals to produce the three-dimensional anatomical images of internal organs doctors need to determine the organ’s health and assess other medical issues without dangerous surgery. Both professions require their technologists to have a strong sense of compassion and an understanding of math and science.

According to the BLS (BLS.gov, 2012), the national median radiation therapist salary, in May of 2011, was $76,630 per year, and the profession is expected experience an employment growth of up to 19 percent from 2010 to 2020 (BLS.gov, 2012). Like all medical training, programs include and require clinical experience and practice under a physician. However, courses in physiology, chemistry, radiopharmaceuticals and computer science can be completed online with lab work available at local clinical affiliates. Certification, following an associate or bachelor’s degree in a related field, can be completed within 12 months.

Learn more about accredited radiologic technology programs from schools and colleges through SchoolsGalore.com:

If you want to ensure a quality online education in radiology for yourself, keep in mind that many of the more reputable online colleges and universities will carry accreditation from an officially recognized source and all degrees in radiography will require hands-on training at some point. There are several regional and national accrediting organizations that are authorized to grant accreditation to online radiologic technology schools, the most prominent is The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology which follows the standards of, and is endorsed by, the ARRT.

If you are pursuing a certification, remember that it requires a degree from only accredited and recognized schools. Be sure to verify the accreditation of any online courses in radiological technology you are considering.

Top Radiological Schools Based on NIH Grant Funding

The schools in the following list been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as some of the best medical schools in 2012 based on research. Additionally, these schools have received the most amount of NIH Grant Funding in 2011, as compiled by the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research. The schools have received funding as a result of their excellence in the field and compliance with NIH guidelines.

2.   Johns Hopkins University
3.   University of Pennsylvania - Perelman
4.   Stanford University
5.   University of California, San Francisco
6.   Washington University in St. Louis
7.   Yale University
8.   Columbia University
9.   Duke University
10. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
11. University of Washington
13. University of California, Los Angeles - Geffen
14. Vanderbilt University
15. University of Pittsburgh
16. University of California, San Diego

Sources and further reading:

Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology
The American Society of Radiologic Technologists
The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists
The American Medical Association
AART-recognized educational programs
ARRT Certification requirements
BRIMR ranking tables of NIH funding to U.S. medical schools
Online Radiologic Technology Schools

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