So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Boaz AL so you can become a radiology technician. And now that you have chosen to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you tackle choosing the right college and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And since most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may need training to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. A number of potential students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into account, there are other important qualifiers also. For example, you must ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and education choices that are offered.
Radiology Technician Occupation Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the identical major job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They may work in Boaz 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 care for their equipment and also routinely assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain complete records of all 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 standard prerequisite for attending a radiology tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to complete and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can often be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Boaz AL or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be practicing you may need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several approve additional options for testing also. A number of states also call for 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 could enhance your career options in and around Boaz AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Programs
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is usually performed in Boaz AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training may be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online style of education is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are generally cheaper than conventional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be decreased also. But just make sure that the online school you select 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 ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
After you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech schools near Boaz AL. You will also need to decide if you want to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you look at when evaluating schools? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? Most radiology tech schools have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to confirm that the program and school 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 gone through an extensive assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Boaz AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the xray technician schools you are reviewing have associations with local 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 satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Boaz AL medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that initial job in Boaz AL in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Boaz 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 local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Boaz AL schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the xray tech college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Boaz AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Boaz X-Ray Tech School
Selecting the ideal x-ray tech school is a crucial first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As has been discussed in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are considering before making your final selection. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can focus your options and make your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your dedication to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiology tech in Boaz Alabama.