So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Arab AL in order to learn to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have made a decision to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you set about picking the right school and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified professional? And since the majority of states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you might require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. A number of prospective students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and usually settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost must be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifications also. For instance, you should find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
Radiology Tech Work Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical principal job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They can work in Arab 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 frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain 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.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Available
The basic requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may often be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Arab AL or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, based on the state where you will be working you might need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so check with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many offer other alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it could improve your career options in and around Arab AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Schools
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree schools. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a large portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is usually carried out in Arab AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training may be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are frequently less expensive than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be lessened also. But just make certain that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
When you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of finding and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Arab AL. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or travel 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 expenses will be a material factor also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray tech colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still imperative to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets 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 premium education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Arab AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the xray technician schools you are interested in have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Arab AL health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Arab AL in a new field can be difficult without help. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement 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 corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will have to be within driving distance of their Arab AL home. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program 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 normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Arab AL colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student 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 a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the xray tech program you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Arab AL area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Arab X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the best x-ray tech degree program is a critical first step toward initiating a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the greater part of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As we have covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are assessing prior to making your final decision. This is just as true whether you participate in an online school or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each program so you can narrow down your options and make your decision. And with the right education and your commitment to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Arab Alabama.