So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Arab AL so you can train to be a radiology technician. But now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you tackle choosing the ideal school and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And since most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Most students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and frequently gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into account, there are other significant qualifications also. For instance, you should find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and education options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Work Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical primary job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They can work in Arab AL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to maintain their equipment and also frequently assess its functionality and safety. They are also expected to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Offered
The primary requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech college 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 typical among technicians, usually takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more comprehensive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Arab AL or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be employed you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so check with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many approve additional alternatives for testing as well. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might improve your career options in and around Arab AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Programs
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree colleges. So although you can still earn your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is usually provided in Arab AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree often find that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online schools are generally more affordable than conventional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be decreased as well. But just confirm that the online program you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
After you have selected the type of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Arab AL. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a material factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you factor in when evaluating schools? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of radiology technician schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still crucial to make sure that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on 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 securing financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Arab AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the xray technician colleges you are evaluating have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Arab AL health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in Arab AL in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the radiographer programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Arab AL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required 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 Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Arab AL colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer school you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Arab AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Arab X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the right radiology tech degree program is an important first step toward starting a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the working day and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As we have covered in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are considering before making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you decide on an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each program so you can focus your choices and make your final choice. And with the right education and your dedication to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiographer in Arab Alabama.