So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Trussville AL so you can learn to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you tackle choosing the ideal college and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And since the majority of states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you may require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Many students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location need to be considered, there are other significant qualifications as well. For example, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Technician Occupation Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical primary job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They can work in Trussville AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician 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 and also frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep in-depth records of each 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 basic prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray 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 prevalent among technicians, usually takes 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to finish and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate as well. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may often be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Trussville AL or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist college, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several provide other options for testing also. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous 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 involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Classes
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So while you can still earn your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is often provided in Trussville AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are often more affordable than on-campus alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be lessened also. But just make sure that the online school you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
As soon as you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of searching for and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Trussville AL. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important factor also. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you consider when comparing schools? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? A large number of radiology technician schools have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to verify that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded 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 a rigorous evaluation of their instructors 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 learning. All accrediting organizations 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 assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Trussville AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the radiology technician schools you are interested in have associations with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Trussville AL health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in Trussville AL in a new field can be difficult without help. Find out if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Trussville AL residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Trussville AL colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the xray tech college you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Trussville AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative 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 may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Trussville X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the ideal x-ray technician degree program is a critical first step toward beginning a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the day and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As we have discussed in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. This is just as true whether you opt for an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can focus your choices and make your final choice. And with the right training and your dedication to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Trussville Alabama.