So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Anniston AL in order to learn to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you undertake selecting the ideal school and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And because most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you might require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. A number of potential students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location should be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifiers as well. For example, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiology technician does and the degrees and training options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Job Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the same fundamental job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They may work in Anniston AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must care for their equipment and also frequently assess its performance and safety. They are also required to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may often be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Anniston AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so check with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several provide other alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could increase your career options in and around Anniston AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Schools
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is usually performed in Anniston AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online approach to education is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are often more affordable than traditional options. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be decreased as well. But just be sure that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
Once you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of locating and assessing x-ray technician schools near Anniston AL. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be an important factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when comparing schools? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? Most radiology technician colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still crucial to verify that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Anniston AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the radiology technician colleges you are interested in have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Anniston AL health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in Anniston AL in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Anniston AL residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Anniston AL schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the xray tech school you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Anniston AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Anniston X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the appropriate x-ray tech college is a crucial first step toward starting a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As has been addressed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are looking at before making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you decide on an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your motivation to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Anniston Alabama.