So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Monroeville AL in order to learn to be a radiology technician. But now that you have decided to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you set about selecting the right school and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And since most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you might need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Many potential students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location should be considered, there are other significant qualifications as well. For instance, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiology technician does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Tech Occupation Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the same major job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They can practice in Monroeville AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to care for their equipment plus frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are also expected to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees Available
The primary requirement for attending a radiology tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, normally 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 comprehensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be appropriate as well. Something to consider is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Monroeville AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be working you may have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number accept other alternatives for testing as well. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it may increase your career options in and around Monroeville AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Classes
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree colleges. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is often provided in Monroeville AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training may be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically discover that the online style of education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online schools are often cheaper than traditional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be reduced as well. But just make sure that the online college you choose 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 degree may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Radiographer Schools
After you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Monroeville AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you factor in when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to ask if the schools 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 compiled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? Most xray technician schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still important to verify that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous examination of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged 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 securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Monroeville AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the radiology technician programs you are reviewing have partnerships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Monroeville AL health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that initial job in Monroeville AL in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the radiographer programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Monroeville AL home. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Monroeville AL schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the xray tech college you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Monroeville AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Monroeville X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the appropriate x-ray technician degree program is a crucial first step toward initiating a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the day and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As has been addressed in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are looking at prior to making your final decision. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can focus your choices and make your decision. And with the right training and your dedication to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Monroeville Alabama.