Distance Learning Options for NMT Programs


OVERVIEW

■  In addition to the resident campus programs in Augusta, Augusta University's Nuclear Medicine Technology programs are offered via distance learning through multiple instructional formats to many cities in Georgia. Several clinical sites are available as practice settings to allow students flexibility and convenience close to home. 

■  All distance candidates must meet the same entrance requirements as Augusta students. Total program capacity is limited to sixteen students admitted to each entering class in Georgia. Each junior class generally includes eight distance students and eight campus students. You are encouraged to contact program faculty to ask about program logistics, requirements, and personal feasibility. Program clinical faculty will be happy to help arrange shadowing opportunities and to put you in contact with admissions counselors who can help you through the prerequisite requirements and application process. 

■  All students (including on campus students in Augusta) must be proficient with computers, as much of the didactic learning requires online research, case study review and analysis, and collaborative communication and discussion. All testing is done online and a laptop computer is recommended for program success.

■  To meet the needs of students who must maintain employment, the program is flexible, but full-time employment is discouraged as it is generally difficult to achieve success under program time requirements. Previous students who have attempted to juggle a job and the NMT program strongly recommend against working more than 16 hours a week in order to maintain course and clinical success.  Students in the BSRS program train at Augusta University-affiliated clinical sites. BSRS Degree Completion/Bridge students may use their place of employment as the clinical site.


FACULTY SUPPORT

■  The Augusta University NMT program employs a faculty member in Atlanta to oversee specific distance student learning needs and maintain efficient and frequent contact with the Program Director. Students from Athens, Gainesville, Columbus, and Atlanta come to the Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville, Ga. every two weeks for scheduled tutorials and advisement to supplement their online lecture materials. Distance students also have high levels of interaction and access to primary program faculty via email and online discussion forums.

INSTRUCTIONAL FORMATS

■  Traditional Classroom Lecture via ECHO 360: This cutting edge technology allows flexible delivery of the traditional classroom experience to fit busy lifestyles. If you're a distance student in Columbus, Gainesville, Athens, or Atlanta, you'll access prerecorded classroom lectures from the comfort of your own home and interact with faculty online to clarify teaching points and answer questions you may have.

■  Web-Based Online Learning and Research: The Augusta University NMT program has developed one of the most robust and comprehensive online learning management systems available for technologist education. All lecture materials, professional networking forums, and faculty and classmate communication is available from any Internet-connected computer. This NMT Instructional Portal offers online testing during the program and access to certification examination practice questions upon graduation. The D2L format is familiar to most students who have used WebCT or Blackboard learning platforms. Because much of the coursework requires online research and web-based assignments, a personal computer with a fast Internet connection is MANDATORY. In addition to these hardware and software requirements, your computer must be able to handle the high-end video and audio files of our ECHO 360 Web Learner system.


DISTANCE OPTIONS FOR CLINICAL ROTATIONS

■  We attempt to provide a varied and comprehensive clinical experience to maximize the entry-level skills needed to begin NMT practice upon graduation. Students are expected to complete a minimum of 20-30 hours of hands-on clinical experience each week during the program to be eligible to sit for national credentialing examinations. All clinical sites have received clinical affiliation approval from the Joint Review Committee on Nuclear Medicine Technology Programs and provide supervised learning by experienced and credentialed practitioners in the profession. Clinical attendance is mandatory and is closely monitored by program clinical coordinators.

BSRS: Augusta University-affiliated clinical sites: Approved clinical sites

BSRS Degree Completion/Bridge: Approved employment clinical site or Augusta University-affiliated clinical site


DEMO DAYS

■  All students must attend the one week orientation in Augusta at the start of each year. One to two on-campus seminars are conducted each semester and faculty visit every clinical site. Despite the "distance" aspects of the program, class cohesiveness is high, and is maintained by on-campus meetings where all students and faculty work closely to clarify challenging course content and do procedural simulation, testing, and competency evaluation. Social events during demo days and online email among students in all locations creates fellowship that lasts long after graduation.


GUIDED CLINICAL ASSIGNMENTS

■  Laboratory assignments are frequently conducted within the familiar clinical setting using equipment which students are comfortable with through their regular practicum experience. These are highly participatory projects facilitated by clinical personnel, based on discovery of information through action rather than by direct demonstration or lecture. These assignments, along with the student-centered learning model, form the foundation of our program's instructional philosophy.

A.S. to B.S. COMPLETION BRIDGE PROGRAM FOR CREDENTIALED NMTs and MILITARY TRAINED NMTs

  Augusta University offers a three semester B.S. degree for individuals already certified or registered as Nuclear Medicine Technologists by the NMTCB or ARRT. This program can be completed at Augusta University NMT clinical affiliates or at your place of employment if you have access to PET/CT and Nuclear Cardiology practice settings with liability coverage. All didactic courses are delivered online, and no on-campus visits are required. Contact program faculty for further information.

■  Am I ready for distance learning?