So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Rainsville AL in order to train to be a radiology technician. But now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you tackle selecting the ideal school and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And since the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may need training to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Most prospective students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be considered, there are additional significant qualifications as well. For instance, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and education options that are available.
X-Ray Tech Job Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the identical principal job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They may work in Rainsville AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must care for their equipment and also regularly assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degrees
The basic prerequisite for attending 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, generally requires 18 months to two 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 comprehensive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Rainsville AL or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be employed you may have to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many accept other options for testing also. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it could increase your career options in and around Rainsville AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Classes
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So although you can still earn your degree online, a significant amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is often conducted in Rainsville AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment 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 style of learning is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are generally cheaper than traditional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be decreased as well. But just be sure that the online college you select is accredited (more on the advantages 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 best choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiographer Schools
When you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of looking for and assessing x-ray tech schools near Rainsville AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a determining factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? Most radiology tech schools have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still important to verify that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed assessment of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting organizations 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 help in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Rainsville AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the xray tech schools you are evaluating have partnerships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Rainsville AL healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in Rainsville AL in a new field can be difficult without help. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Rainsville AL residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for 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 rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Rainsville AL schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the xray tech school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Rainsville AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Rainsville X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the right x-ray tech degree program is an important first step toward starting a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the working day and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best available patient care. As we have addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are assessing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the appropriate training and your motivation to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiology tech in Rainsville Alabama.