All About an Online Associates Degree in Radiology

An online associates degree in radiology may prepare you to become a radiologic technologist, or RT. Generally speaking, associate-level degrees are available as either Associate of Science (AS) in Radiography degrees or Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Radiography degrees. You should consult program advisors from different schools to establish how the curriculum and preparation routes may vary between the AS and the AAS.

Online Associates Degree in Radiology

Radiologic technologists perform a wide range of diagnostic imaging procedures, including x rays, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and mammography. Some advanced training or certification may be required to specialize in certain subfields. In addition to conducting imaging procedures, RTs often prepare patients for exams, help maintain radiologic equipment, manage patient records, and assist with administrative tasks. Associate degrees in radiology also involve safety training. Graduates learn how to limit unnecessary exposure to radiation, protecting themselves and their patients.

An online associates degree in radiology included both classroom instruction and clinical training. You may study topics like anatomy and physiology, elements of patient care, radiation physics, radiation protection, principles of imaging, medical terminology, positioning of patients, medical ethics, radiobiology, and pathology. Depending on your program, you might be able to focus on specific types of procedures, such as CT scans, MRIs, and mammograms. Students who are interested in specialties like magnetic resonance or medical dosimetry may choose to study beyond the associate level, completing a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science.

After earning your online associate degree in radiology, you may be qualified to take the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists' national certification test. Test takers must graduate from radiologic programs that are accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Students who pass the exam may earn the title "Registered Technologist," which is abbreviated "R.T. (ARRT)," after their names. Certification is voluntary, but many employers prefer to hire technicians and technologists who have been certified. In addition, most states require you to be licensed to practice as a radiologic technologist. Requirements vary by state, but earning an accredited associate degree should help you prepare for any compulsory examinations. For specific licensing rules, you should contact your state's health board.