So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Scottsboro AL so you can train to be a radiology technician. And now that you have chosen to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about choosing the ideal college and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a qualified professional? And because most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Many potential students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location must be considered, there are additional critical qualifiers also. For instance, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and training options that are available.
X-Ray Tech Occupation Summary
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, 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 purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They can practice in Scottsboro AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist 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 and frequently assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. 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, usually takes 18 months to two years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are acceptable as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may often be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Scottsboro AL or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, based on the state where you will be working you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number provide other options for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could improve your career options in and around Scottsboro AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved 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 ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Programs
As a part 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 obtain your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is usually conducted in Scottsboro AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training can be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online style of education is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are frequently less costly than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be decreased also. But just make sure that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of locating and assessing x-ray technician schools near Scottsboro AL. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be an important factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you factor in when evaluating colleges? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? Most radiology technician colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still crucial to confirm that the school and program 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). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online 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 superior education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Scottsboro AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the radiology tech programs you are evaluating have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Scottsboro AL medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Scottsboro AL in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Scottsboro AL residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble 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 college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Scottsboro AL colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer college you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Scottsboro AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Scottsboro X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the ideal x-ray tech college is a crucial first step toward starting a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the greater part of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay strict 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 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 available patient care. As we have discussed in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are looking at before making your final selection. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each school so you can focus your choices before making your decision. And with the proper training and your motivation to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Scottsboro Alabama.