So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Attalla AL so you can train to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you set about choosing the right school and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Many students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into account, there are additional critical qualifiers also. For instance, you should ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this post. But first, let's explore what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and training options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the same major job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They can practice in Attalla AL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to maintain their equipment and routinely analyze its performance and safety. They are also required to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options
The primary requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, generally requires 18 months to two years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more extensive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical 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 schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Attalla AL or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, based on the state where you will be employed you might have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number provide additional alternatives for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it may increase your career options in and around Attalla AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Programs
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. 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 school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often performed in Attalla AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training may be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to education is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are often cheaper than on-campus options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be reduced also. But just make certain that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
When you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Attalla AL. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining factor also. But along with cost and location, what else should you consider when evaluating schools? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray technician colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to make sure 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous review of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Attalla AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the xray technician colleges you are assessing have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Attalla AL healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in Attalla AL in a new profession can be difficult without support. Find out if the radiographer programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Attalla AL home. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. 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 may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Attalla 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 a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Attalla AL area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Attalla X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the best x-ray tech degree program is a crucial first step toward launching a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs often stand for the greater part of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As we have addressed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are reviewing before making your final selection. This is equally true whether you decide on an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the proper training and your motivation to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiographer in Attalla Alabama.