So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Oneonta AL so you can train to be a radiology technician. And now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you undertake choosing the ideal college and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And since the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you may require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. A number of students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifications as well. For example, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiology technician does and the credentials and training options that are available.
Radiology Tech Career Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the same fundamental job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They can practice in Oneonta AL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must take care of their equipment plus routinely assess its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees
The primary prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to consider is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Oneonta AL or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, based on the state where you will be working you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so check with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several accept other options for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it could enhance your career options in and around Oneonta AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Degrees
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is typically carried out in Oneonta AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically find that the online style of learning is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently less expensive than traditional options. Along with reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be lessened as well. But just make sure that the online program you choose is accredited (more on the benefits 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 ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of searching for and assessing x-ray technician schools near Oneonta AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be an important variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you factor in when comparing colleges? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have earned some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still important to confirm that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Oneonta AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the radiology tech colleges you are assessing have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional connections in the Oneonta AL medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in Oneonta AL in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Oneonta AL home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online naturally 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 need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Oneonta AL colleges you are looking at 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 final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Oneonta AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Oneonta X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the appropriate x-ray technician school is an important first step toward launching a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the day and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As has been covered in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are looking at before making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you participate in an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each college so you can narrow down your options and make your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a radiographer in Oneonta Alabama.