So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Troy AL so you can learn to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you tackle selecting the ideal college and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified professional? And since most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Many students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and frequently gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location must be taken into account, there are additional critical qualifiers also. For instance, you must find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the credentials and training choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Work 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, they all have the identical fundamental job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They may practice in Troy AL hospitals, clinics, private 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 have to take care of their equipment plus frequently assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available
The basic requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, normally takes 18 months to two years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to complete and is more extensive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable also. Something to consider is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of 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 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 program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so check with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many provide other alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might 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 exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Programs
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So although you can still earn your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is often carried out in Troy AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online style of education is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are generally less costly than conventional options. Along with reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be decreased as well. But just make certain that the online program you enroll in 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 right option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
After you have decided on the type of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Troy AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a material variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you factor in when evaluating colleges? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of radiology tech colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still important to verify 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). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed assessment of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Troy AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the radiology tech schools you are interested in have relationships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Troy AL healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in Troy AL in a new field can be difficult 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 indication that the schools have sizable networks and great 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 school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Troy AL residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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 person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Troy AL schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Troy AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Troy X-Ray Tech School
Picking the appropriate x-ray tech college is a critical first step toward beginning a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As has been discussed in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online school 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 final choice. And with the appropriate training and your motivation to succeed, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiographer in Troy Alabama.