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 decided to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you undertake choosing the ideal school and program so that you will get the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Most students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location should be taken into account, there are additional important qualifiers as well. For instance, you should find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer 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 tech does and the degrees and education options that are offered.
Radiology Technician Job Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the identical primary job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They can work in Rainsville AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might utilize 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 frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees
The standard prerequisite for attending a radiology tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more expansive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are appropriate as well. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which many schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Rainsville AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, based on the state where you will be employed you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number accept other options for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it could improve your career options in and around Rainsville AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Colleges
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree colleges. So while you can still earn your online degree, a large portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is typically carried out in Rainsville AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are often cheaper than on-campus options. Along with lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be lessened also. But just make sure that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
When you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Rainsville AL. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a determining factor also. But along with cost and location, what else should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of radiology technician schools have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still crucial to verify that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed examination of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it might 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 quality education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Rainsville AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the radiology technician schools you are assessing have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Rainsville AL medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Rainsville AL in a new profession can be difficult without help. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Rainsville AL residence. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally 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 Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear 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 one-on-one instruction. Ask the Rainsville AL schools you are looking at 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 ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer school you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Rainsville AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Rainsville X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the appropriate x-ray technician college is a crucial first step toward launching a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the workday and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As has been covered in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the proper training and your commitment to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a radiology tech in Rainsville Alabama.