So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Auburn AL so you can become a radiology technician. And now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you undertake picking the ideal college and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And since the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might require training to pass a licensing exam. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Many potential students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location must be considered, there are additional important qualifiers as well. For example, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and training options that are available.
Radiology Technician Career Summary
There are multiple 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 same principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They may practice in Auburn AL hospitals, clinics, private 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 and regularly assess its functionality and safety. They are also required to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees
The primary requirement for attending an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more expansive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may typically be satisfied by participating in an internship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Auburn AL or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, based on the state where you will be practicing you may have to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several approve other alternatives for testing also. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it could enhance your career options in and around Auburn AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Degrees
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So although you can still earn your degree online, a large amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is often conducted in Auburn AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically discover that the online approach to education is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are often less costly than traditional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be reduced also. But just make certain that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
After you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of searching for and assessing x-ray tech schools near Auburn AL. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a determining variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you look at when comparing schools? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? Most radiology technician schools have earned some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still important to verify that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it might also obtain 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. In addition to ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Auburn AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the radiology tech schools you are interested in have partnerships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Auburn AL healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that initial job in Auburn AL in a new field can be difficult without help. Ask if the radiographer programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they select will need to be within driving distance of their Auburn AL home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide 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 generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Auburn AL colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the radiographer college you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Auburn AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Auburn X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the appropriate x-ray technician college is a crucial first step toward launching a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the majority of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to get 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 medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As we have covered in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are assessing before making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can focus your options and make your final choice. And with the right education and your motivation to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiology tech in Auburn Alabama.