So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Scottsboro AL so you can learn to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you set about choosing the right school and program so that you will get the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And because the majority of states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you might require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Many students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location must be considered, there are other critical qualifiers also. For instance, you need to find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Work Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the identical primary 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 the treatment of cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They can work in Scottsboro 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 have to maintain their equipment plus frequently analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally required to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees
The primary prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option 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 complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish and is more extensive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can often be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Scottsboro AL or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, based on the state where you will be working you might need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many offer additional alternatives for testing as well. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring 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 calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Colleges
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is often provided in Scottsboro AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically discover that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are often more affordable than on-campus options. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be reduced as well. But just make sure that the online school you select 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 online classes may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Radiographer Programs
Once you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of finding and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Scottsboro AL. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship 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 should ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? The majority of xray technician colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still important to confirm that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Scottsboro AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the xray technician colleges you are interested in have associations with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Scottsboro AL medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in Scottsboro AL in a new field can be difficult without help. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Scottsboro AL residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally 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 bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even 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 commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Scottsboro AL colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student 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 speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Scottsboro AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Scottsboro X-Ray Tech Training
Picking the appropriate radiology technician degree program is a critical first step toward beginning a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians 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 pleasant work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are assessing prior to making your final decision. This is equally true whether you decide on an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your dedication to be successful, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiographer in Scottsboro Alabama.