So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Troy AL in order to learn to be a radiology technician. But now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you undertake picking the ideal college and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you might need training to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. A number of students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be considered, there are other significant qualifications also. For instance, you should find out whether or not 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 examining are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Work Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical fundamental job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They can work in Troy AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech 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 and also frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also required 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 Tech Degree Options
The primary prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, usually requires 18 months to two years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may often be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Troy AL or their region. Once you have graduated from one 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.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many offer other options for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it might increase your career options in and around Troy AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires 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 can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Schools
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree colleges. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is typically carried out in Troy AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online style of education is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are generally cheaper than on-campus options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be lessened also. But just confirm that the online program you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiographer Colleges
Once you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of finding and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Troy AL. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material factor as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you factor in when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? Most radiology technician schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still crucial 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive review of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting organizations 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 getting financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Troy AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the radiology tech programs you are reviewing have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Troy AL medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in Troy AL in a new field can be difficult without support. Find out if the radiographer programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high 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 well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Troy AL home. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear 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 need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Troy AL schools you are looking at 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 an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Troy AL area, verify that they are offered. 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 need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Troy X-Ray Tech Training
Picking the best x-ray tech degree program is an important first step toward initiating a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As has been discussed in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are assessing before making your final selection. This is equally true whether you participate in an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Troy Alabama.