So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Greenville AL in order to become a radiologic technologist. But now that you have made a decision to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you undertake selecting the ideal school and program to ensure that you will receive 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 practice you might require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. A number of prospective students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost must be considered, there are other significant qualifications also. For example, you should find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiology tech does and the degrees and education choices that are offered.
Radiology Tech Career Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same principal job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They may practice 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 must take care of their equipment and routinely assess its performance and safety. They are additionally required to keep 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.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Available
The primary requirement for attending a radiology tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to finish and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Greenville AL or their region. 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 working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so check with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many provide other alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options in and around Greenville AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Classes
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree programs. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is typically conducted in Greenville AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training may be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online style of education is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are generally cheaper than on-campus options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be decreased as well. But just make sure that the online school you enroll in 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 an online school may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
After you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of finding and assessing x-ray technician schools near Greenville AL. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you look at when evaluating colleges? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? Most xray tech schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still crucial to verify that the program and school 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 obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive examination of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized 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 getting financial assistance and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Greenville AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the radiology technician programs you are assessing have associations with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Greenville AL healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in Greenville AL in a new profession can be challenging without support. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success 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 graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Greenville AL residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally 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 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 may 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 to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Greenville AL schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the xray tech college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important 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 available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Greenville X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the best radiology technician college is a crucial first step toward launching a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the day and position 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 adhere to the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As has been addressed in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are assessing before making your final selection. This is just as true whether you opt for an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each college so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your dedication to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Greenville Alabama.