So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Trussville AL in order to become a radiologic technician. And now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you tackle picking the ideal college and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And because the majority of states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Many potential students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and frequently gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into consideration, there are additional critical qualifications as well. For instance, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the degrees and education options that are available.
Radiology Technician Occupation Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the identical primary job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They may practice in Trussville AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment plus frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees
The primary requirement for attending a radiology tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, generally takes 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 expansive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to consider is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may often be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which many schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Trussville AL or their area. Once 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 practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be working you might have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number accept other alternatives for testing also. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it may improve your career options in and around Trussville AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Schools
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So although you can still earn your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is typically provided in Trussville AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are often more affordable than traditional options. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be lessened also. But just make certain 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 online classes may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Radiographer Colleges
When you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of finding and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Trussville AL. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a material factor also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of xray technician schools have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still imperative 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). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Trussville AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the radiology tech schools you are reviewing have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Trussville AL health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in Trussville AL in a new field can be challenging without support. Ask if the radiographer schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Trussville AL home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program 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 often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Trussville AL schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the xray tech school you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Trussville AL area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative 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 might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Trussville X-Ray Tech Training
Selecting the best radiology technician college is a critical first step toward initiating a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the workday and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As has been discussed in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are assessing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you decide on an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each school so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the right training and your dedication to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiology tech in Trussville Alabama.