So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Attalla AL in order to learn to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you go about choosing the ideal school and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And since the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Many prospective students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location must be taken into consideration, there are other important qualifications also. For example, you must ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Work Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical fundamental job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example 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 work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must take care of their equipment and routinely assess its functionality and safety. They are also required to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees Available
The basic requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, generally requires 18 months to two years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to complete and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate as well. Something to consider is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Attalla AL or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be employed you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number provide other options for testing as well. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options in and around Attalla AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Programs
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is usually carried out in Attalla AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically find that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are generally less costly than traditional options. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be lessened also. But just make sure that the online school you pick 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 ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
After you have selected the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of finding and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Attalla AL. You will also need to decide if you want 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 critical. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you consider when comparing schools? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of radiology technician schools have received some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to make sure that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Attalla AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the xray tech programs you are reviewing have relationships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Attalla AL health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Attalla AL in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Attalla AL residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Attalla AL schools you are researching 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 final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the xray tech school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Attalla AL area, make sure 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 need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Attalla X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the appropriate x-ray technician school is a crucial first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available patient care. As we have addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are assessing before making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the right education and your motivation to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Attalla Alabama.