So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Russellville AL so you can learn to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have made a decision to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about choosing the ideal school and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And because the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Most potential students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location should be considered, there are additional important qualifications as well. For instance, you should 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 considering are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Career Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical major job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They can practice in Russellville AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must take care of their equipment and routinely analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Available
The basic requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally requires 18 months to two years to finish based upon 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. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may often be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Russellville AL or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, depending on the state where you will be employed you may need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with 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 several offer additional alternatives for testing also. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase your career options in and around Russellville AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Degrees
As a part of every 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 schools. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a large portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is usually carried out in Russellville AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are generally cheaper than on-campus alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be reduced as well. But just be sure that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiographer Programs
As soon as you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of searching for and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Russellville AL. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining variable as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray tech colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still imperative to confirm that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Russellville AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the radiology tech colleges you are evaluating have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Russellville AL medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in Russellville AL in a new field can be difficult without help. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Russellville AL residence. Students who have opted 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 importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Russellville AL colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer college you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Russellville AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Right Russellville X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the right x-ray tech degree program is a crucial first step toward launching a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the majority of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects 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 techs 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 productive work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As we have addressed in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you opt for an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the proper education and your dedication to succeed, you can realize your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Russellville Alabama.