So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Oneonta AL so you can learn to be a radiology technician. And now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you go about choosing the ideal school and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified professional? And since the majority of states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Most prospective students start by searching 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 need to be taken into account, there are other significant qualifications as well. For instance, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and training choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Work Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical principal job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize 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 work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They can practice in Oneonta AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment and also regularly evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to finish and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can typically be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Oneonta AL or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be employed you may have to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so check with 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 many provide additional options for testing as well. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it may increase your career options in and around Oneonta AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Colleges
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is usually performed in Oneonta AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training may be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree often discover that the online approach to education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online schools are often cheaper than on-campus options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just confirm that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online school may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiographer Colleges
Once you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Oneonta AL. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a material factor as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you factor in when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray technician schools have earned some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to verify 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed review of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized 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 assistance and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Oneonta AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the radiology tech programs you are evaluating have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Oneonta AL medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that initial job in Oneonta AL in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable 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 pick will need to be within driving distance of their Oneonta AL residence. Individuals who have chosen 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. Something 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 often 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 Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Oneonta AL colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the xray tech school you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Oneonta AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Oneonta X-Ray Tech School
Selecting the appropriate x-ray technician degree program is a crucial first step toward initiating a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs often stand for the majority of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to observe 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 doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As we have discussed in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing before making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each school so you can focus your options before making your decision. And with the proper training and your dedication to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Oneonta Alabama.