So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Attalla AL in order to learn to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you go about picking the ideal college and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And because most 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 so that you can evaluate each program. Many potential students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be taken into account, there are other significant qualifiers as well. For instance, you should find out whether or not 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 examining are presented later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Work Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the identical principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They may practice in Attalla AL hospitals, clinics, private 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 have to maintain their equipment and frequently analyze its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep 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 standard prerequisite for attending a radiology tech school is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, usually requires 18 months to two years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be appropriate as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Attalla AL or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, based on the state where you will be working you might need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several approve additional options for testing also. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might enhance your career options in and around Attalla AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Schools
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So although you can still earn your online degree, a large portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school 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 schools. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree often discover that the online style of learning is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online schools are frequently cheaper than traditional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be reduced as well. But just be sure that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of looking for and assessing x-ray tech schools near Attalla AL. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important factor as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you factor in when evaluating schools? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? Most radiology technician schools have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to confirm that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered 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 a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the xray tech colleges you are evaluating have associations with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Attalla AL medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Attalla AL in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Attalla AL residence. Students who have opted 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 importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally 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 are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Attalla AL colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor 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 radiology tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the xray tech college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Attalla AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Attalla X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the ideal x-ray technician 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 typically stand for the greater part of the working day and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines designed 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. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As has been addressed in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are looking at prior to making your final decision. This is equally true whether you opt for an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the right training and your motivation to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Attalla Alabama.