Question about distance learning in the Allied Health care field

Discussion in 'Nursing and medical-related degrees' started by BWD, Jun 30, 2006.

  1. BWD

    BWD New Member


    I am glad that I found this discussion board. I have found it to be very informative and helpful. There is a lot of great information and very helpful people on here. I am glad there is a board like this.

    I have recently been searching for some distance learning programs for Allied Health professions. I am looking for a career change, as I am currently in law enforcement. The medical field has always interested me. One of the problems is I live in a rural area and I there are no schools, colleges, or universities close enough to me. I do not have a prior college degree, which is a problem a few of the colleges and universities I have looked at. These are some of the things I have looked into as professions:

    Athletic Trainer, Cardiovascular Technologist, Clinical laboratory science/medical technology, Diagnostic Medical Sonographer, Dietetics, Electroneurodiagnostic Technologist, Occupational therapy, Radiologic technology, Respiratory therapy, and Surgical technologist.

    I have found a few distance learning program in my searches. One is Southeast Community College, SCC does offer distance learning in the following:

    Radiologic Technology, Respiratory Care, and Surgical Technology.

    I have emailed SCC and I am awaiting more information from them to find out specific details.

    Another is Independence University; also know as California College for Health Science, Independence University does offer the following distance learning program:

    Associate of Science in Respiratory Therapy

    I have emailed them as well and I am awaiting more information.

    I have found the clinical portion of the program being done in a local area might be a problem. They say it can be done, but I am not sure about this. One of my concerns is the student finding the clinical location versus the college or university assisting the student. I was just wondering if anyone on here as any advice and information about some distance learning programs in the Allied Health professions. All comments and information is greatly appreciated Thank you in advance!
  2. RobbCD

    RobbCD New Member

    Do you currently have any degrees?

    Are you interested only in clinical programs that lead to a degree or are you open to persuing professional certifications in leu of a degree?
  3. simon

    simon New Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2006
  4. japhy4529

    japhy4529 House Bassist


    You may want to look into Jackson Community College, located in Jackson, MI. JCC offers online Associate in Applied Science degrees in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, DMS-Vascular Technology and DMS - Echocardiography. All three programs are accredited by CAAHEP (Commission for Accreditation of Allied Health Educational Programs). Note, you will need to find an "approved clinical education affiliate" (e.g. hospital, clinic, doctor's office) to take your required, supervised clinical hours. Upon completion of the program, you may sit for the American Registry of DMS certification exams.

    Here is a link to the JCC home page:


    A link to the DMS degree guidesheets:

    Good luck!

    - Tom
  5. recruiting

    recruiting Member

  6. Myoptimism

    Myoptimism New Member

    Weber State University offers an AS and BS degree in clinical laboratory science completely online. They also offer several other allied health degrees, some can also be done completely online.

    Good luck,
  7. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    Independence University ex-California College for Health Sciences derives its institutional accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC; in these parts "NA," or national accrediation), while many colleges, universities and professional bodies, and some employers, whitelist only regionally accredited (RA) degrees from schools, and may not accept an NA degree or NA credits, or may only do so selectively in any given situation.

    That said, their programs in Respiratory Care have specialized accreditation from CAAHEP/CoARC, which should help (if not completely address every context where the RA/NA distinction is still an issue).

    Southeast Community College is regionally accredited - and a public institution, primarily bricks-and-mortar-too. If your interest in respiratory care strengthens, I would definitely give them a look. Note that there's a distance learning staff, and for each Southeastern College program, an individual 'online advisor and contact' with their email and phone phone number right here... while the summer break might mean a delay at an academic-year-based public institution, don't shy away from getting in touch for questions, concerns and general guidance as you continue to consider your options.

    Good luck! :)
  8. BWD

    BWD New Member


    Thank you to everyone for all the helpful information and advice. It is greatly appreciated!


    No, I do not have any degree or degrees. I would be open to professional certifications in lieu of a degree. I could still continue to further my education. Are there any programs that you know of? If so, let me know. Thank you!


    The professions I mentioned are of an interest to me. I am trying to find out what professions from those, I can achieve through distance learning, and then I can choose what I want. But, it is great advice given throughout your post. Thank you!


    JCC looks very good. I only see one problem. From what I read it looks like enrollment already happened, January 31st was the deadline, if I am not mistaken. Please correct me if I am wrong. I know I could wait until next year, but I was looking for something a little sooner. Thank you for the link!


    Independence University or CCHS is one I am currently looking at. Thank you!


    Weber State University does look very nice. I think their respiratory therapy program is not very distance from what I could find from their website. It seems their clinical portion is done in Utah, if I am not mistaken. Please correct me if I am wrong. Their clinical laboratory science program looks very interesting. Thank you for the link!

    Jonathan Whatley:

    You make some very good points about NA versus RA, which I have read about on this board. I think accreditation from CAAHEP/CoARC is the most important factor, but I could be wrong. Southeast Community College does look very good. I am awaiting information from them. Everyone seems to be off for the holidays. So I hope to learn more soon. Thank you!

    Thank you again to everyone who has posted. Your advice is greatly appreciated and welcomed. I am still searching for more programs. Any information anyone might have about any other programs is greatly welcomed . Thank you!
  9. Michael Lloyd

    Michael Lloyd New Member

    I work as one of the administrators in a large medical clinic. Of all your choices that you listed, the professions that are in the most demand and are the best paying are the sonographer and the radiology technician. The demand for medical lab techs has softened due to increased automation: the more computerized instruments, the less techs needed to run tests. Lab techs are also not paid all that well. Respiratory therapy has steady demand, but almost all of them work in hospitals.

    Working in a healthcare field used in both inpatient care (hospitals) and ambulatory care (clinics and offices) will give you maximum flexibility in finding a job. Right now, if I could find three experienced radiology technicians, certified in CT and MRI, I would hire them in a flash. Radiology technicians are very much in demand right now.
  10. simon

    simon New Member

    Very relevant information.

    As I noted to this poster prior to making a significant financial, time and energy commitment to any educational program it is vital to know one's interests, work environment preferences and dislikes, abilities and aptitudes relative to the specific occupation they are selecting. Although under the rubric of allied health professions there are different tasks,aptitudes and personal characteristics required for each of these specialities. So merely selecting a profession based on its level of demand and high salary without knowing whether one meshes with the specific work specifications or possess liking for the required work tasks (regardless of how in demand the field is), may very well result in decreased chances of achieving one's goals.

    Instead one should speak with individuals who are working in these different allied health professions' to discuss their experiences, pro and con, and arrange to "shadow" them in their work environments; read the literature pertaining to these fields of work starting with the Occupational Outlook Handbook to gain a global understanding of the work involved, employment work condtions, etc; if necessary speaking with a career counseling professional to discuss and if necessary to obtain testing to better understand one's specific educational/career interests needs, values, aptitudes and abilities as they relate to educational/career planning. Such actions will assist one in enhancing their chances of finding a satisfying and rewarding career.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2006
  11. recruiting

    recruiting Member

    The only thing with Independence University, AKA California College for Health Science is that BESIDES being quite costly they require you (the student) to go from hospital to hospital to find a clinical site. That could be a pain in the butt!

    I took a peek at the SOUTHEAST COMMUNITY COLLEGE Respiratory Care Program and if they have an agreement with a local hospital you should be good to go! Personally, I would email the DL department head and ask what the deal is with that.

    The SCC RT program also seems less costly.

    Just my opinion- :)

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