So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Auburn AL in order to learn to be a radiology technician. And now that you have chosen to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you undertake choosing the ideal college and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And considering that most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you may need training to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. A number of students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location must be taken into account, there are additional critical qualifications also. For example, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and education options that are offered.
Radiology Technician Work Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical major job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, 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 technician might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to care for their equipment and also frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees
The primary requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech school is to have earned 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 common among technicians, usually takes 18 months to two years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to complete and is more extensive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are acceptable also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Auburn AL or their region. After 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.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
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. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several provide other options for testing also. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it may increase your career options in and around Auburn AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Schools
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So while you can still earn your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is typically performed in Auburn AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree often find that the online style of education is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are frequently cheaper than on-campus alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be lessened as well. But just be 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 style of training, then online classes may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
When you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of searching for and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Auburn AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a determining factor also. But along with cost and location, what more should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? Most radiology tech colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to make sure that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous review of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it can 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. Besides ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Auburn AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the radiology technician schools you are reviewing have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Auburn AL health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in Auburn AL in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the radiographer schools you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Auburn AL home. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Auburn AL colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final 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 also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the xray tech program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Auburn 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 need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Auburn X-Ray Tech School
Picking the appropriate x-ray technician school is an important first step toward initiating a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the day and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As has been discussed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are assessing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you opt for an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each school so you can focus your options before making your decision. And with the proper education and your commitment to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Auburn Alabama.