So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Guntersville AL so you can learn to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you set about picking the right college and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And since the majority of states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you might require training to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Most prospective students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and often settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into consideration, there are additional important qualifications as well. For instance, you should find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the credentials and education options that are available.
Radiology Tech Work Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical major job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They can work in Guntersville 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 maintain their equipment and regularly evaluate its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees Offered
The basic requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have attained 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 common among technicians, generally takes 18 months to two years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to complete and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which many schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Guntersville AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be working you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many offer other options for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might improve your career options in and around Guntersville AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Schools
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So while you can still earn your online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is usually provided in Guntersville AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically discover that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are frequently more affordable than traditional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be reduced as well. But just make certain that the online school you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiographer Schools
When you have selected the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of finding and assessing x-ray tech schools near Guntersville AL. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a material variable as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? A large number of radiology technician schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to confirm that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Guntersville AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the radiology technician schools you are reviewing have partnerships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional connections in the Guntersville AL health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in Guntersville AL in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the radiographer programs you are considering 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 substantiates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Guntersville AL residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Guntersville AL colleges you are considering what the average 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 talk with some 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 radiographer college you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Guntersville AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Guntersville X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the right x-ray technician school is a critical first step toward launching a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the day and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you opt for an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can narrow down your options and make your final choice. And with the proper training and your dedication to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Guntersville Alabama.