So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Troy AL in order to become a radiology technologist. But now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you go about picking the right college and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And considering that most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. A number of students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost should be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifications also. For example, you must ask if 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 provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and training options that are available.
Radiology Tech Career Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the identical principal job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They may work in Troy AL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may utilize 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 also frequently analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally required to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Offered
The primary requirement for attending a radiology tech college is to have attained 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 typical among technicians, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable also. One thing 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 often be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Troy AL or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, based on the state where you will be practicing you might need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so check with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number approve additional alternatives for testing also. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could increase your career options in and around Troy AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves 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 may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Colleges
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is often performed in Troy AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your home. 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 generally less costly than traditional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be decreased also. But just make certain that the online school you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
As soon as you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Troy AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important factor also. But along with cost and location, what more should you consider when reviewing schools? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of radiology tech schools have earned some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to verify 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). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Troy AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level openings.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the radiology tech colleges you are interested in have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Troy AL medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in Troy AL in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they select will need to be within driving distance of their Troy AL home. Individuals who have chosen 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. Something to consider 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 normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for 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 class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Troy AL colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the xray tech program you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Troy AL area, make sure 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 carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Troy X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the appropriate radiology technician school is a critical first step toward initiating a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the greater part of the day and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines developed 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 interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As we have covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you decide on an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the right training and your motivation to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Troy Alabama.