So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Scottsboro AL in order to train to be a radiology technician. And now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about picking the ideal school and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified professional? And since most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you may require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. A number of prospective students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost should be considered, there are additional important qualifications also. For example, you need to find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and education options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Occupation Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical primary job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They may practice in Scottsboro AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might work with 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 frequently analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain 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 Technician Degrees Offered
The standard requirement for attending an x-ray tech college is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice 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 two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Scottsboro AL or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be practicing you may need to become licensed. Most 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 licensing application, but many approve additional alternatives for testing also. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may increase your career options in and around Scottsboro AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires 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 can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Degrees
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 schools. So while you can still earn your online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is often carried out in Scottsboro AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree often discover that the online style of education is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are often less costly than conventional options. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be lessened also. But just make sure that the online college you select is accredited (more on the advantages 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 best option for you.
Subjects to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
Once you have selected the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Scottsboro AL. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a determining variable as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you look at when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray tech schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still important to make sure that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations 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 examination of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Scottsboro AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level positions.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the xray technician schools you are interested in have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Scottsboro AL health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in Scottsboro AL in a new profession can be difficult without help. Find out if the radiographer programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Scottsboro AL residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose 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 typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Scottsboro AL colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the xray tech program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Scottsboro AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Scottsboro X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the ideal radiology technician college is a crucial first step toward initiating a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the day and move and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As we have discussed in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are assessing before making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you decide on an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can narrow down your options before making your decision. And with the right education and your commitment to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiographer in Scottsboro Alabama.