So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Lanett AL in order to train to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have decided to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about choosing the right college and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might require training to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Many potential students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into consideration, there are other significant qualifiers as well. For instance, you must ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
Radiology Technician Work Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the same primary job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective 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 specialty, for instance mammography. They can practice 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 must care for their equipment and routinely assess its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degrees
The basic prerequisite for attending a radiology tech college is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, usually takes 18 months to two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to complete and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Lanett AL or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, depending on the state where you will be employed you may need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so check with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number accept other options for testing also. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it could increase your career options in and around Lanett AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Colleges
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 no different for online degree programs. So while you can still earn your degree online, a large amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often provided in Lanett AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are generally less costly than traditional options. Along with lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be lessened also. But just make certain that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiographer Colleges
When you have selected the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Lanett AL. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a material factor also. But along with location and cost, what else should you consider when reviewing schools? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? Most xray technician colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still important to confirm that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded 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 gone through a detailed evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Lanett AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the radiology technician colleges you are interested in have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Lanett AL health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial 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 success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the college they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Lanett AL home. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose 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 typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Lanett AL colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer school you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Lanett AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Lanett X-Ray Tech Program
Enrolling in the best radiology tech degree program is a crucial first step toward initiating a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the day and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians 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 covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are looking at before making your final selection. This is equally true whether you participate in an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the proper training and your motivation to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiology tech in Lanett Alabama.