So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Guntersville AL in order to learn to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have decided to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you tackle choosing the ideal college and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And because the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Many students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost must be considered, there are additional critical qualifiers also. For instance, you must find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
Radiology Tech Job Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical principal 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 treating cancer. Many choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They can practice in Guntersville AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment plus frequently assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options
The primary requirement for attending a radiology tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more expansive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable also. Something to consider is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Guntersville AL or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be working you may have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several accept other options for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it could improve your career options in and around Guntersville AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Classes
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a large amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is usually conducted in Guntersville AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically discover that the online style of education is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are often less expensive than conventional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be decreased as well. But just make certain that the online program 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 best choice for you.
What to Ask Radiographer Programs
When you have chosen the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of searching for and assessing x-ray technician schools near Guntersville AL. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you factor in when reviewing schools? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? The majority of xray technician colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still imperative to make sure that the program and school 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 a detailed examination of their instructors and educational 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 agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Guntersville AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the radiology tech colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Guntersville AL medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in Guntersville AL in a new profession can be challenging without help. Ask if the radiographer schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Guntersville AL home. Individuals 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 concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Guntersville AL colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the radiographer college you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Guntersville AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Guntersville X-Ray Tech Training
Selecting the right x-ray technician degree program is a crucial first step toward beginning a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the majority of the workday and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As has been discussed in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are assessing before making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can focus your choices before making your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiology tech in Guntersville Alabama.