Thinking of a career in the allied health service that pays well? Why not consider becoming a radiographer and begin searching for the best radiology technician schools in your area?
Operating diagnostic imaging machines that take x-rays, CT scans, or ultrasound is highly technical. You must be qualified for the job. And the first qualification is proper training. You want the best training possible to give yourself an advantage over others vying for the same position. So you look for a school that can give you that edge.
Two important criteria
In your search, you have to consider two things as the most important: ACCREDITATION and COST. With the demand for radiology technicians or technologists continuously increasing, local schools, colleges and universities are striving to fill up this lack of supply in qualified professionals. So chances are there’s a radiology school in your area. Or maybe even two or more radiology technician schools. So how do you go about filtering which institution will best serve your needs?
1. Accreditation. This simply means the school has been granted approval by a recognized body that oversees the profession to ensure the program offered is of a quality that passes their standards. Graduating from an accredited school or one which offers an accredited program means youíre fit for this kind of work in terms of skills and competence.
For radiologic technology schools, the accrediting body is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology, which is recognized by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Complete your training from any accredited school and you qualify for the certification exam administered by the ARRT. Licensure, which is different from certification, is required in 38 states so check be sure to check if there are licensing requirements in your area.
Enrolling in an accredited institution is also vital if you are seeking financial aid for your education, especially at the federal level. Your application for aid will only be considered if your school has accreditation.
2. Cost. Education and training, especially for a very technical course, does not come cheap. Even if you only enroll for a certificate program that runs for a year, it will still set you back by a couple of thousand dollars. An associate’s or bachelor’s degree will definitely cost you more. So it’s a must to request information from prospective radiology schools in your area to find out how much it will cost you to complete your education to become a radiologist technician.
Fortunately, there is the option of distance learning, which can cut cost between 40 to 60 percent, especially if you opt for online programs. Many schools offering allied health care training have online options.
However, bear in mind there is an intensive practical component involved for this program because you need the actual skills to eventually qualify for work. So, while you can substitute classroom instruction with online classes, you will still need hands-on training in clinics or hospitals to complete your schooling.
For those interested in pursuing their training in the traditional way (attending classes on campus), you must add in your costs for transportation and accommodation while attending school. Your choice of school should therefore take into consideration these factors to lessen your burden while preparing for your career.
Additional factors in your checklist
When you’ve narrowed down the choices of radiology technician schools based on accreditation and costs, your final decision should also take into account the following factors, however minor they may be:
1. Class Size. Yes, where this kind of training is concerned, the size matters. The smaller the class size, the more focus can be given to students by their instructors to help them master the skills. This is especially true during practice sessions to operate the highly sophisticated equipment being used in the job. The more hands-on time given to you in class, the more confident you become at doing in the workplace. See Radiology Classes
2. Practical Training. The radiology technician schools that can provide you with the best assistance in practical training can almost guarantee you will be more competent than graduates who did not enjoy the same privilege. This means your school of choice has one or more affiliations with medical or health facilities where you can take your internship. The busier the facility the better training for you.
3. Employment Opportunities. This can be a big factor in your choice of school. After graduation and getting top-notch training, can they help open doors for you in terms of employment? In your research about radiology technician schools, you are bound to learn about the school’s track record not just in producing qualified graduates but the success rate of their alumni. And often, if the school has placement programs it just means they live up to their reputation of being one of the best radiology technician schools because employers turn to them for their human resource requirements.