So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Pell City AL so you can learn to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you undertake selecting the right college and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled professional? And since the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you might need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Most prospective students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifiers also. For example, you should ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this article. But first, let's explore what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and education options that are available.
X-Ray Tech Occupation Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical primary 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 administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They can work in Pell City AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may 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 and frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees Offered
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech school 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 techs, usually takes 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Pell City AL or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be practicing you might have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number offer other 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, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might increase your career options in and around Pell City AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Schools
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a large amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is typically performed in Pell City AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online approach to education is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently more affordable than on-campus options. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just confirm that the online program you enroll in 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 school may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiographer Colleges
As soon as you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of finding and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Pell City AL. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important factor also. But along with cost and location, what more should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of radiology technician schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still crucial to confirm that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Pell City AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the radiology tech schools you are interested in have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Pell City AL medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in Pell City AL in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the radiographer programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Pell City AL residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern 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 decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Pell City AL colleges you are researching 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 ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Pell City AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Pell City X-Ray Tech Training
Picking the best radiology technician school is a critical first step toward beginning a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the day and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your dedication to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Pell City Alabama.