So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Oneonta AL so you can train to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you go about selecting the right college and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you may require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. A number of students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into account, there are other significant qualifiers also. For instance, you should 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 presented later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a radiology technician does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Career Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what 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 provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They may work in Oneonta AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to maintain their equipment and regularly evaluate its performance and safety. They are also required to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees
The standard requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, usually requires 18 months to two years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can often be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which many schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Oneonta AL or their area. 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 Tech Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be working you might need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several approve additional options for testing as well. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options in and around Oneonta AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Colleges
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree programs. So although you can still earn your online degree, a large amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is often performed in Oneonta AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training may be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically find that the online style of education is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are generally cheaper than on-campus alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be lessened as well. But just be sure that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
After you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Oneonta AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material factor also. But along with cost and location, what more should you factor in when reviewing colleges? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? Most radiology tech schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still crucial to make sure that the school and program are accredited. One of 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 undergone an extensive review of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it might also receive 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. In addition to ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Oneonta AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the xray tech colleges you are assessing have partnerships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Oneonta AL medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in Oneonta AL in a new profession can be challenging without help. Find out if the radiographer programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and great 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 select will have to be within driving distance of their Oneonta AL home. Students who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Oneonta AL colleges you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night 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 credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Oneonta X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the right radiology technician school is an important first step toward beginning a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the majority of the working day and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict 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 social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As we have covered in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are assessing prior to making your final selection. This is just as true whether you decide on an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the right education and your dedication to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Oneonta Alabama.