So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Troy AL so you can learn to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have chosen to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake picking the ideal college and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because the majority of states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Many prospective students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location must be taken into account, there are other significant qualifications also. For example, you should find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Occupation Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the identical principal job description, which is to utilize 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 choose to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They can work in Troy AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may work with 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 and also routinely assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected 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.
Radiology Tech Degrees
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, generally requires 18 months to two years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to finish and is more expansive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are acceptable also. One thing to consider is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may often be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Troy AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number accept other alternatives for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might enhance your career options in and around Troy AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Colleges
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is typically conducted in Troy AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training can be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online style of education is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently less expensive than traditional options. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be lessened as well. But just make sure that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
As soon as you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Troy AL. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material factor also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? Most xray technician colleges have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to make sure that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly respected 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 an extensive assessment of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Troy AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the xray tech schools you are assessing have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Troy AL healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in Troy AL in a new field can be difficult without support. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Troy AL residence. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide 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 normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one 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 monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer college you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Troy AL area, make certain that they are available. 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 might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Troy X-Ray Tech School
Selecting the ideal radiology tech school is a crucial first step toward launching a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians 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 pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As has been discussed in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. This is just as true whether you decide on an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each college so you can focus your choices before making your final choice. And with the proper education and your dedication to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiology tech in Troy Alabama.