Online Computed Tomography Certification: Program Info
Students certified in radiology may consider earning a computed tomography certificate to gain additional skills. Online certificate programs are available, but graduates must go to a testing center in order to take the test for certification.
Computed tomography (CT) is a medical diagnostic imaging test, which combines computer technology with x-rays. It is non-invasive. A CT technologist takes a series of cross-sectional scans to produce images of internal organs, tissues or other internal structures.
Technologists must have good communication, patient and critical thinking skills. CT technologists work with radiologists and technicians to obtain accurate images of the patient's anatomy.
American Registry of Radiological Technologists (ARRT)
ARRT is the credentialing organization for radiologic technology. A student must complete training from a program that is approved by ARRT to be eligible to take the ARRT's CT certification exam. ARRT requires applicants to be certified in radiation therapy, radiology or nuclear medicine prior to sitting for the CT certification exam.
Sample Computed Tomography Program Courses
Online CT certificate programs are offered through many community colleges' online extension divisions. Programs generally are made up of two-six courses, depending on the community college. Programs are hybrid, consisting of online classes and a clinical. Individual courses may be similar to the following:
Principles of Computed Tomography
This course outlines the essential tasks that a CT technologist performs along with a study of CT equipment and ARRT certification requirements. Students are provided with an overview of scanning methods and learn to acquire images of sectional parts of the body. They investigate the history of computed tomography and study x-ray safety.
The primary focuses of the course are acquiring patient-technologist communication skills, learning human anatomy and performing cross-sectional images for CT scans. Course covers the differences in tissue, organ, bone and muscle images on cross-sectional scans.
Students work in a clinic under supervision to gain hands-on experience with radiology equipment and learn about CT technologist duties. Some institutions allow students to earn the certificate without finishing the clinical. Students are then free to choose a facility near their place of residence for their clinicals.
Students must complete the clinical to ARRT standards before taking the exam for CT certification. There are 54 CT procedures in nine categories. To pass the clinical, students must choose 25 separate procedures and perform 3-5 repetition of each procedure for a total of 125 scans (minimum).
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