So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Greenville AL in order to learn to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you tackle choosing the right college and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And since the majority of states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you may require training to pass a licensing examination. 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 potential students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost must be taken into account, there are other significant qualifiers also. For instance, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiology tech does and the degrees and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Work Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the same major job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They can work in Greenville AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician 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 care for their equipment and frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees
The primary prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to complete and is more expansive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are appropriate as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can often be satisfied by participating in an internship program which many schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Greenville AL or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be practicing you may need to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number approve other alternatives for testing as well. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it could improve your career options in and around Greenville AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Programs
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges 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 degree online, a significant amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often performed in Greenville AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to education is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are generally more affordable than on-campus options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be decreased also. But just make certain that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
As soon as you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of looking for and assessing x-ray tech schools near Greenville AL. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important variable also. But along with cost and location, what more should you consider when evaluating schools? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? Most xray 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 organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Greenville AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the radiology tech colleges you are interested in have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional connections in the Greenville AL healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in Greenville AL in a new profession can be challenging without help. Ask if the radiographer programs 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 sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Greenville AL residence. Students who have decided 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. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Greenville AL colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the xray tech program you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Greenville AL area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Greenville X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the appropriate radiology technician degree program is a critical first step toward launching a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part 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 close attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As has been discussed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are reviewing before making your final decision. This is just as true whether you participate in an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can narrow down your options and make your decision. And with the proper training and your dedication to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiographer in Greenville Alabama.