So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Greenville AL so you can become a radiology technologist. But now that you have made a decision to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you go about selecting the right school and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled professional? And since the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. A number of students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost must be taken into account, there are additional important qualifiers as well. For instance, you must ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiology technician does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Career Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the identical major job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They may practice in Greenville AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must care for their equipment plus routinely evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degree Options
The standard prerequisite for attending a radiology tech school is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to finish and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are acceptable also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Greenville AL or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification 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 program, depending on the state where you will be working you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so check with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many provide additional alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options in and around Greenville AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Programs
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree programs. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is typically carried out in Greenville AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training may be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online style of learning is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are often less costly than on-campus alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be lessened also. But just confirm that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiographer Programs
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and assessing x-ray technician schools near Greenville AL. You will also need to decide if you want to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining variable also. But along with location and cost, what more should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of radiology tech colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still imperative to make sure that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected 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 undergone an extensive review of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies 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 assist in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Greenville AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the radiology technician schools you are assessing have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Greenville AL health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Greenville AL in a new field can be difficult without support. Find out if the radiographer programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Greenville AL residence. Those 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 even out of your local area, you might need 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 sort of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Greenville AL colleges you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer college you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Greenville AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Right Greenville X-Ray Tech School
Picking the right radiology tech degree program is a critical first step toward initiating a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the workday and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As has been covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are considering before making your final decision. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can narrow down your options and make your final choice. And with the proper education and your dedication to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Greenville Alabama.