So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Lanett AL in order to learn to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have decided to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about picking the ideal college and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. A number of prospective students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into account, there are other important qualifiers also. For example, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Tech Work Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same fundamental job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They may practice in Lanett AL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may 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 regularly assess its functionality and safety. They are also required to keep 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 Tech Degrees Available
The basic 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 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 course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are acceptable also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may often be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Lanett AL or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may have to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many approve other options for testing also. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it might increase your career options in and around Lanett AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Degrees
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree programs. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a significant amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is often performed in Lanett AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically find that the online style of education is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are often cheaper than conventional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be reduced 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 option for you.
What to Ask Radiographer Colleges
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of searching for and assessing x-ray tech schools near Lanett AL. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be an important variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you consider when reviewing colleges? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover 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 Tech Programs Accredited? The majority of xray technician schools have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still crucial to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed assessment of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Lanett AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the xray technician colleges you are interested in have partnerships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Lanett AL medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that initial job in Lanett AL in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Lanett AL home. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose 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 generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Lanett AL colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the xray tech school you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Lanett AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Right Lanett X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the best x-ray technician degree program is a critical first step toward initiating a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs often stand for the majority of the workday and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you decide on an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can focus your options before making your decision. And with the right education and your motivation to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Lanett Alabama.