So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Arab AL in order to train to be a radiology technician. But now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you set about selecting the ideal college and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified professional? And considering that the majority of states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you may require training to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Most potential students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location must be taken into account, there are additional important qualifiers as well. For instance, you should ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Occupation Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the identical principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They may practice in Arab AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to take care of their equipment plus frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Available
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, usually takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are acceptable as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Arab AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be practicing you may have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several provide additional alternatives for testing also. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may improve your career options in and around Arab AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Degrees
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So although you can still earn your online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is typically provided in Arab AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree often discover that the online style of learning is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are often cheaper than conventional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be decreased as well. But just make certain that the online college you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiographer Colleges
After you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and assessing x-ray technician schools near Arab AL. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a determining variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? A large number of radiology tech schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still crucial to make sure 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 gone through an extensive evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting agencies 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 help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Arab AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the radiology tech schools you are evaluating have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Arab AL healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in Arab AL in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the radiographer programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Arab AL residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern 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 program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Arab AL colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the radiographer program you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Arab AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Arab X-Ray Tech Training
Picking the appropriate x-ray technician college is a crucial first step toward launching a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As has been discussed in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are assessing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you participate in an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your motivation to be successful, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiographer in Arab Alabama.