So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Troy AL so you can learn to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have chosen to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about selecting the ideal college and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And because most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might require training to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Most students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location should be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifications also. For instance, you should find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the credentials and training options that are available.
Radiology Tech Work Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical principal job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They can practice in Troy AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to care for their equipment and also regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degree Options
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity 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 finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to complete and is more expansive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate as well. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Troy AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist college, depending on the state where you will be employed you might need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so check with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several offer other options for testing also. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase your career options in and around Troy AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Classes
As a component of every 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 schools. So while you can still earn your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is usually performed in Troy AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online style of learning is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are generally less expensive than traditional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be reduced also. But just be sure that the online school 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 online classes may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiographer Schools
When you have selected the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of looking for and assessing x-ray tech schools near Troy AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a determining variable as well. But along with location and cost, what more should you look at when evaluating schools? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray tech colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still important to confirm that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected 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 an extensive examination of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible 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 program for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the radiology technician colleges you are assessing have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Troy AL health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in Troy AL in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the radiographer schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Troy AL residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need 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 kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Troy AL schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the xray tech college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Troy AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Troy X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the right x-ray tech degree program is a crucial first step toward starting a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the greater part of the working day and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As has been addressed in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are assessing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each school so you can focus your choices before making your decision. And with the proper education and your commitment to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiographer in Troy Alabama.