So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Greenville AL in order to learn to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about choosing the right college and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And since the majority of states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you may require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Many prospective students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost must be considered, there are additional important qualifiers as well. For instance, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and training choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Work Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same major job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They may work in Greenville AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist 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 plus routinely analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degree Options
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option 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 depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to finish and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Greenville AL or their region. After you have graduated from any 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.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be employed you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many approve additional options for testing also. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is optional. However, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it may improve your career options in and around Greenville AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Programs
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree schools. So although you can still earn your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is typically conducted in Greenville AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically find that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are often cheaper than traditional options. In addition to lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. But just confirm that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
As soon as you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech schools near Greenville AL. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and secondary expenses will be an important factor also. But along with location and cost, what more should you consider when comparing colleges? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? Most radiology technician colleges have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous examination of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Greenville AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the radiology technician programs you are reviewing have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Greenville AL medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in Greenville AL in a new field can be challenging without support. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Greenville AL residence. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider 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 commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable 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 classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the xray tech program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Greenville AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Greenville X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the right x-ray technician school is a crucial first step toward launching a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the day and position and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As has been covered in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are assessing before making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each school so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the proper education and your dedication to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Greenville Alabama.