So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Greenville AL so you can train to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have chosen to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you undertake selecting the ideal college and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And considering that most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you might require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. A number of prospective students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and frequently gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location must be considered, there are additional important qualifiers as well. For example, you need to find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this post. But first, let's explore what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and training options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Job Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the same principal job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They may work in Greenville AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may work with 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 also frequently assess its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees Available
The primary requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have earned 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 course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to finish and is more expansive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to consider is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may often be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Greenville AL or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, depending on the state where you will be working you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many approve additional alternatives for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may increase your career options in and around Greenville AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Degrees
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree colleges. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a large portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is typically performed in Greenville AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training can be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online approach to education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are often cheaper than conventional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be reduced also. But just make certain that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
When you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Greenville AL. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining variable as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you look at when evaluating colleges? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? Most xray tech schools have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still crucial to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Greenville AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the xray tech schools you are evaluating have associations with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Greenville AL health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in Greenville AL in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Greenville AL residence. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern 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 college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Greenville AL schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech college you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Greenville AL area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify 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 obligations.
Choose the Best Greenville X-Ray Tech Program
Enrolling in the best radiology tech school is an important first step toward starting a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the workday and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As has been addressed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is similarly 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 college so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the appropriate education and your motivation to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Greenville Alabama.