There are a growing number of online radiology and sonography schools, which prepare students to work as radiologic technologists or diagnostic sonographers. Both professions use diagnostic equipment to help investigate medical conditions. However, while radiologic technologists use imaging equipment, which perform x-rays, MRI, and CT examinations, sonographers use equipment that directs sound waves resulting in ultrasounds, sonograms, and echocardiograms. If you would like to further your education in the healthcare field, but feel that you are too busy to commit to a full-time program, tailor your study time around your other commitments by exploring online education.
Online Radiology and Sonography Degree Requirements
Online radiology and sonography degrees are offered at vocational schools, community colleges, and four-year colleges and universities. In general, individuals who want to work as sonographers or radiographers pursue a degree at the associate’s or bachelor’s level. Certificates are also accepted by some employers, but associate’s degree programs are the most prevalent.
These programs prepare students to operate sophisticated diagnostic medical equipment and work directly with patients. Online radiology and sonography courses may provide both classroom and clinical instruction in subjects like:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Medical terminology
- Principles of imaging
- Medical ethics
- Radiation protection
- Radiation physics
In order to work as radiologic technologists, students must graduate from an accredited program and obtain licensure through either the state or The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. Licensure in diagnostic medical sonography is not required, but an increasing number of employers prefer hiring sonographers who are credentialed by a certifying body, such as the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).
How Online Radiology and Sonography Programs Work
Online programs offer an unmatched level of flexibility and convenience. Many individuals pursue coursework online to avoid having to commute to and from a campus at a scheduled time. Some online institutions offer hybrid programs with the majority of their courses online and some classes on campus. Other schools enable students to earn their degrees completely online, so they don’t ever have to set foot on campus.
In some programs, students work in groups virtually to produce presentations and research projects together. Teams of students may collaborate online via email or video conferencing. A number of online colleges offer condensed semesters that allow students to speed through intensive courses in half the amount of time normally required.
Career Outlook for Radiology and Sonograhpy
Radiology and sonography are both rapidly growing segments of the healthcare field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of radiologic technologists is expected to grow by 28%, and positions for diagnostic medical sonographers are expected to increase by 44% through 2020. In 2011, radiographers earned a median annual salary of $55,120, while sonographers earned $65,210. Both disciplines require considerable skill with complex machinery, as well as with patients. Having strong communication skills is essential in these fields, because you have to explain technical procedures to patients in simple terms and make them feel at ease.
Taking sonography and radiology courses online is the most convenient way to manage your study time and earn your degree. Enrolling in an online radiology and sonography school has the potential to brighten your future and give you access to further employment opportunities. Explore your educational options in these rewarding fields today!