Radiology schools pave the way for students to become radiology, MRI or nuclear medicine technicians. Radiology is one of the medical field's best kept secrets. The classwork that students engage with can help them to get into an expanding career field with many opportunities for advancement. There are specific criteria that must be met by all schools, but there are some specifics students should look for before choosing which school they would like to go to.
The location of the school is an important decision that the student must make before starting an academic career. Many radiology schools will provide the schooling necessary for a student to pass their certification exam, but that may be the end of it. Students should also look at continuing education in the field. Some schools will only accept students who have already passed their certification exam; even so, these classes can provide a higher education in the field of radiology and open possibilities in nuclear medicine, vascular technologies and cardiovascular technologies.
Other things to consider are weather and cost. If a student picks a college close to home, then they have the financial support of family and are in a climate they are used to. However, moving to a new location can be exciting and give students a chance to expand their social and professional circles. Also note that some states require the student to already have an associate degree to enter the radiology program.
Schools need to be accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Most schools will be, because it is required, but it is still a good question to ask. Find out if the program prepares the student for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologies (ARRT) exam. If they do not, the class is not worth taking. This exam is required to get a job as a radiology tech.
Look for a school that is experienced. Larger universities have been around for decades, but not all schools have that type of longevity. Look for schools that have instructors or professors with master's or doctorate degrees. There are several sites on the web that allows students to grade their teachers. See if the school has a department dedicated to the radiology program. You can even ask friends who may have gone to the school, but remember that social media can be a hit or miss resource.
A school and its professors know how to teach the classes required for the program, otherwise they wouldn't have the required accreditation. However, students should dig a bit deeper when speaking with a counselor or advisor. Ask them if they know about radiology, what the work environment is like, what the job outlook is, and, of course, what the pay scale is. To test their knowledge, the student can visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics for all the information ahead of time.
Students should spend time researching several radiology schools before making a decision. It allows the student to get a basic understanding of the program and the people they will be working with on a day-to-day basis. Decisions that a student makes now may determine the outcome of an entire career path.