So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Anniston AL in order to train to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about selecting the right college and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a skilled professional? And considering that most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you might require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Most potential students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and frequently settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be taken into consideration, there are additional significant qualifications as well. For example, you should find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and education options that are available.
Radiology Technician Work Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same principal job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They can practice in Anniston AL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment plus regularly assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options
The primary prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech college is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, usually requires 18 months to two years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship 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 must abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, depending on the state where you will be working you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many accept additional options for testing also. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it may enhance your career options in and around Anniston AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Degrees
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a large amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is often provided in Anniston AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to education is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are frequently less expensive than on-campus options. Along with reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be decreased also. But just be sure that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
Once you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Anniston AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important factor also. But along with cost and location, what more should you consider when reviewing colleges? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still important to confirm that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive review of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Anniston AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the radiology technician colleges you are interested in have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Anniston AL medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in Anniston AL in a new profession can be difficult without support. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Anniston AL home. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Anniston AL schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the radiographer program you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Anniston AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Anniston X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the right x-ray tech college is an important first step toward initiating a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the day and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs 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 productive work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As we have addressed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are looking at prior to making your final decision. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can focus your choices before making your decision. And with the right education and your dedication to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Anniston Alabama.