So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Roanoke AL in order to train to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have chosen to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about picking the ideal school and program so that you will get the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And since most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you may need training to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. A number of prospective students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be taken into consideration, there are additional critical qualifiers also. For instance, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiology tech does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Technician Occupation Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical principal job description, which is to use 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. Some elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They can practice in Roanoke AL hospitals, clinics, 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 frequently assess its functionality and safety. They are also expected to keep in-depth 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 Available
The primary requirement for attending an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on 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 nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which many schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Roanoke AL or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an Radiologist program, based on the state where you will be employed you might need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several approve other options for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may improve your career options in and around Roanoke AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Colleges
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree colleges. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is typically performed in Roanoke AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are generally cheaper than traditional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be lessened as well. But just confirm that the online school you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
When you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Roanoke AL. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or drive 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 ancillary expenditures will be a determining variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? Most radiology tech colleges have earned some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still imperative to confirm that the school and program 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it might 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. Besides guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Roanoke AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the radiology technician colleges you are assessing have associations with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Roanoke AL medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Roanoke AL in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Roanoke AL home. 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 local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Roanoke AL schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer school you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Roanoke AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out 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 might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Roanoke X-Ray Tech Program
Picking the ideal x-ray technician school is a critical first step toward initiating a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the workday and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As we have discussed in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you opt for an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiology tech in Roanoke Alabama.