So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Trussville AL in order to train to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have made a decision to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you go about picking the right college and program so that you will get the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Most potential students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be considered, there are other critical qualifications also. For example, you must find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Tech Career Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the identical fundamental job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They may practice in Trussville AL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must take care of their equipment and routinely assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain 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 Degrees Available
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon 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 nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are appropriate as well. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Trussville AL or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, based on the state where you will be employed you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so check with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number offer other options for testing also. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might increase your career options in and around Trussville AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Classes
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So although you can still earn your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is typically conducted in Trussville AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are often more affordable than conventional options. Along with reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just make certain that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
After you have selected the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of finding and assessing x-ray technician schools near Trussville AL. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important variable also. But along with cost and location, what more should you consider when reviewing schools? Well, you need to find out if the colleges 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 put together a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of xray technician schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still crucial to make sure that the school and program are accredited. Among 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 a detailed evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Trussville AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the radiology technician programs you are interested in have associations with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Trussville AL medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in Trussville AL in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Trussville AL home. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly 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 student that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Trussville AL colleges 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 ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer school you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Trussville AL area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Trussville X-Ray Tech Training
Selecting the ideal x-ray technician college is an important first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly 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 an ability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As we have addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are assessing before making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Trussville Alabama.