So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Oneonta AL in order to train to be a radiology technician. And now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake choosing the right school and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you might require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Many potential students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be considered, there are additional significant qualifiers also. For instance, you must find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let's explore what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and training choices that are available.
Radiology Tech Career Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the same primary job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They may practice in Oneonta AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may 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 and also regularly evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also required to keep complete 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 Tech Degrees Offered
The primary prerequisite for attending a radiology tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate as well. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Oneonta AL or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be employed you may have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several approve other alternatives for testing also. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it could enhance your career options in and around Oneonta AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Programs
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is usually provided in Oneonta AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree often find that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online schools are generally less costly than traditional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just be sure that the online school you pick 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 degree may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
After you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Oneonta AL. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a determining factor as well. But along with location and cost, what more should you consider when evaluating schools? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? The majority of xray technician colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, 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 obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. 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 acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Oneonta AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the xray tech programs you are interested in have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Oneonta AL medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in Oneonta AL in a new field can be challenging without support. Find out if the x-ray tech 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 good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Oneonta AL residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area 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 might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically 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 student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Oneonta AL schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the xray tech school you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Oneonta AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Oneonta X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the best radiology tech college is a crucial first step toward beginning a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the day and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As we have covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are assessing prior to making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can focus your options and make your final choice. And with the proper training and your dedication to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiology tech in Oneonta Alabama.