So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Lanett AL in order to become a radiology technologist. And now that you have made a decision to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you go about selecting the right college and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified professional? And considering that most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Many potential students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be taken into consideration, there are additional significant qualifications as well. For instance, you must ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and education options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Career Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical fundamental job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They can work in Lanett AL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to take care of their equipment and routinely assess its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees Offered
The standard requirement for attending a radiology tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time 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 other related majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Lanett AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, based on the state where you will be working you may need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many provide other alternatives for testing also. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options in and around Lanett AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Classes
As a component 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 schools. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a large amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is typically provided in Lanett AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training may be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are often more affordable than traditional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be decreased as well. But just confirm that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online school may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
After you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Lanett AL. You will also need to decide if you want to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a material variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you look at when evaluating colleges? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of xray tech colleges have earned 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous examination of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. 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 quality education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Lanett AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the radiology tech programs you are evaluating have partnerships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Lanett AL healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in Lanett AL in a new field can be challenging without support. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job assistance 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 graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Lanett AL residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have 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 type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Lanett AL colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. 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 some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Lanett AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Lanett X-Ray Tech School
Picking the ideal radiology technician degree program is an important first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the greater part of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As we have covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are considering before making your final selection. This is just as true whether you decide on an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each school so you can focus your choices before making your decision. And with the appropriate education and your motivation to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Lanett Alabama.