Radiology Technician Career Description
There are multiple 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, each has the identical major job function, which is to utilize 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 elect to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They may practice in Alabama 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 and also frequently evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally required 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.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options
The standard prerequisite for attending a radiology tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. 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, usually requires 18 months to two years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to finish and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate also. Something to consider is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Alabama. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be working you may need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many offer other options for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could increase your career options in Alabama to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Classes
As a component 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 programs. So while you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is often conducted in Alabama family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training may be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree often discover that the online approach to education is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are often cheaper than on-campus alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be reduced also. But just make certain that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the right option for you.