So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Rainsville AL in order to become a radiology technician. And now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you set about picking the ideal college and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And since the majority of states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might need training to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Many students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location should 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 should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and training choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Job Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the same fundamental job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They can work in Rainsville AL clinics, hospitals, private 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 maintain their equipment and routinely evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally required to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees Offered
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. 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 techs, generally takes 18 months to two years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Rainsville AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be employed you might need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number accept other alternatives for testing as well. Several states also require certification as a component 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 increase your career options in and around Rainsville AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Classes
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 colleges. So while you can still earn your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is often provided in Rainsville AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training may be attended in the comfort 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 active schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less expensive than conventional options. Along with reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. But just confirm 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 degree may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
Once you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Rainsville AL. You will also have to determine 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 college will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be an important factor also. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you consider when reviewing colleges? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? Most radiology technician colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still important to confirm that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous examination of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Rainsville AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the xray technician programs you are evaluating have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Rainsville AL healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Rainsville AL in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Rainsville AL residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing 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 may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Rainsville AL schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the xray tech college you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Rainsville AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Rainsville X-Ray Tech Training
Picking the ideal radiology technician school is an important first step toward launching a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the day and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements 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. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As we have discussed in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. This is equally true whether you participate in an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your dedication to succeed, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Rainsville Alabama.