So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Rainsville AL so you can learn to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake choosing the ideal school and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And because the majority of states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Most prospective students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be considered, there are additional important qualifications as well. For example, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical primary job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They may practice in Rainsville AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may 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 plus frequently evaluate its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees Offered
The standard requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, usually takes 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 extensive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which many colleges offer 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 licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be practicing you might need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number accept additional options for testing also. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it might increase 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 exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Classes
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree programs. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is usually 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 earning their degree typically find that the online approach to education is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are frequently more affordable than conventional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be decreased also. But just make certain that the online school you choose 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 online classes may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
After you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of finding and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Rainsville AL. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a determining variable as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you factor in when evaluating schools? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of radiology technician colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still imperative to make sure 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). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Rainsville AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the radiology technician schools you are assessing have relationships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Rainsville AL healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in Rainsville AL in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the radiographer schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Rainsville AL residence. Individuals who have opted 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. One thing 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Rainsville AL schools you are considering 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 final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the xray tech program you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Rainsville AL area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Rainsville X-Ray Tech School
Selecting the ideal x-ray technician degree program is a crucial first step toward launching a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the day and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs 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 furnish the best possible patient care. As has been covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are assessing before making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each college so you can focus your options before making your decision. And with the right training and your motivation to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiographer in Rainsville Alabama.