So you have decided 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 enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you undertake picking the right school and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And since most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. A number of potential students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location should be considered, there are additional important qualifiers also. For example, you must ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiology tech does and the credentials and training options that are available.
Radiology Technician Job Summary
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. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical fundamental job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They can practice in Attalla AL hospitals, clinics, family 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 have to take care of their equipment plus routinely evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also required to retain in-depth 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 Degrees Offered
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech program 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 technicians, usually takes 18 months to two years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to finish and is more expansive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate also. Something to consider is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically be satisfied by participating in an internship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Attalla AL or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be working you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many offer additional options for testing as well. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could improve your career options in and around Attalla AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves 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 can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Schools
As a component 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 schools. So although you can still earn your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is often provided in Attalla AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training may be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are often less costly than conventional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be lessened as well. But just be sure that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Radiographer Programs
After you have chosen the type of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of finding and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Attalla AL. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be an important factor also. But along with cost and location, what more should you consider when reviewing schools? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of radiology technician schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still important to confirm that the program and school 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 obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous review of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Attalla AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level openings.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the radiology technician colleges you are reviewing have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Attalla AL medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in Attalla AL in a new field can be difficult without help. Find out if the radiographer programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Attalla AL residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically 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 person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Attalla AL colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Attalla AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Attalla X-Ray Tech Training
Picking the appropriate radiology tech degree program is a critical first step toward starting a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the working day and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict 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 provide the best available patient care. As has been discussed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are looking at before making your final selection. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Attalla Alabama.