So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Roanoke AL in order to become a radiology technician. But now that you have decided to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you tackle picking the ideal college and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a qualified professional? And since the majority of states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you may need 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 compare each program. Many prospective students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into account, there are other critical qualifiers also. For example, you must find out if 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 x-ray technician does and the degrees and training options that are available.
Radiology Tech Career Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the identical fundamental job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They can work in Roanoke AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to care for their equipment and regularly evaluate its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain 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.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Offered
The standard prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech college is to have attained 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 technicians, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to complete and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Roanoke AL or their area. After you have graduated from any 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.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an Radiologist program, based on the state where you will be employed you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several offer additional options for testing also. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase your career options in and around Roanoke AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Programs
As a component 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 even though you can still obtain your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is typically performed in Roanoke AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training can be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less costly than conventional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. But just be sure that the online school you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Roanoke AL. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you look at when evaluating schools? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of xray technician colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still important to verify that the program and school 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 an extensive review of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it may also receive 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. Besides ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Roanoke AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the xray tech schools you are interested in have relationships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Roanoke AL health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in Roanoke AL in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the radiographer schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Roanoke AL home. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously 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 keep 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 might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Roanoke AL colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer college you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. 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, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Roanoke X-Ray Tech School
Picking the right radiology technician school is an important first step toward beginning a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the working day and move and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As we have addressed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are looking at before making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you opt for an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each college so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the proper training and your motivation to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Roanoke Alabama.