The profession of radiology assisting is a newly developed occupation that makes use of radiologic technology knowledge and training and combining it with complex patient care procedures. Radiologic technologists with years of experience and advanced training may decide to pursue this profession, while students who are interested in the position must have at least a bachelor’s degree in radiology assisting.
What to expect from a radiology assistant school
There are several learning approaches for aspiring radiology assistants to choose from – clinical work, research, lab work, or case studies. Clinical work allows students to gain more hands-on experience as they work with actual radiology machinery. Case studies, on the other hand, allow the students to work with patients and react to tasks on hand. Whatever learning approach the students choose, the bottom line is that these methods will help the students become licensed radiologist assistants.
The most common courses in a radiology assistant program include biology, medical terminology, and medical imaging equipment. Typical course topics include pathophysiology, human anatomy, patient assessment, clinical pharmacology, intervention procedures, research methods, pathology, and health law.
Students are also taught to interact with patients, study patient records, educate the patients and their family on the imaging procedures, and determine if patients have followed the requirements before an examination. These tasks are important because radiologist assistants have to report findings to a physician or radiologist.
It is important to choose a radiology assistant program that is accredited by organizations such as the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Only such programs can prepare students to take and pass the ARRT certification exam.
Radiologist assistant biggest schools
Based on the overall student population, the biggest school for radiologist assistants is the Ohio State University. Other large radiology assistant schools in the US include Virginia Commonwealth University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Weber State University, and Bloomsburg University.
Radiologist assistant online program
Now, aspiring radiologist assistants can enroll in an online program. However, a fully online degree program for this profession is not yet available. Hybrid programs are offered instead, wherein students can complete some coursework online.
An online bachelor’s degree program in radiologic studies allows students to use course materials and syllabi that are provided in online message board platforms. The coursework is more about the basics of radiologic studies, helping the students become familiar with the medical field. Students study clinical practice, where they learn about the methods of problem management, infection control, and patient education. They also study radiation therapy, where they touch on disease assessment, radiobiology, and advanced physics. Another core course for radiology assistant students is health law, where they learn about the legal aspect of radiology. They will discuss about administrative law, malpractice ethics, and more.
An online master’s degree in radiologic studies teaches the students about the important skills needed by radiologist assistants. The advanced degree teaches them bout medical imaging techniques as well as advanced research skills. The core courses that they will tackle include pathophysiology, which teaches the students about the body’s reactions to diseases and major body systems; radiology and pharmacology, which teaches students about pharmaceutical drugs; and research methods, which hones the students’ research skills by doing research projects and studying medical literature.