So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Russellville AL in order to learn to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have chosen to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you undertake choosing the right college and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And considering that most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you may require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. A number of potential students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost should be taken into consideration, there are additional important qualifications also. For example, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should 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 credentials and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Career Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the identical fundamental job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They may work in Russellville AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may work with 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 routinely assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options
The primary requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, generally takes 18 months to two years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more extensive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be appropriate as well. Something 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 satisfied by participating in an internship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Russellville AL or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, depending on the state where you will be working you might need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several provide other options for testing also. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may increase your career options in and around Russellville AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Colleges
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree colleges. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is often carried out in Russellville AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are often cheaper than conventional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be lessened as well. But just make certain that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiographer Schools
After you have selected the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Russellville AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a determining variable as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of xray technician schools have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still important to make sure 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). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting agencies 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 assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Russellville AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the xray tech programs you are reviewing have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Russellville 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 first job in Russellville AL in a new profession can be challenging without help. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are interviewing 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 graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Russellville AL home. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Russellville AL schools you are considering 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 ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer school you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Russellville AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Russellville X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the appropriate x-ray tech school is an important first step toward initiating a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As we have covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are considering before making your final decision. 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 focus your options and make your decision. And with the proper education and your motivation to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiographer in Russellville Alabama.