So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Arab AL so you can train to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake selecting the right college and program so that you will get the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because the majority of states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might require training to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Most potential students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be taken into account, there are other significant qualifications as well. For example, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiology technician does and the credentials and training choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Work Summary
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the identical major job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may 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 practice in Arab AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might work with 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 routinely evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Available
The primary prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally takes 18 months to two years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are acceptable as well. Something to consider is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Arab AL or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, based on the state where you will be practicing you might need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so check with your state. Presently, 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 other options for testing as well. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it could increase your career options in and around Arab AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Degrees
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is often conducted in Arab AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree often find that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are generally more affordable than traditional options. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be reduced as well. But just make sure that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of finding and assessing x-ray tech schools near Arab AL. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be an important variable also. But along with cost and location, what else should you look at when evaluating colleges? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? Most xray technician colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to confirm that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Arab AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the radiology technician schools you are assessing have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional connections in the Arab AL health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in Arab AL in a new profession can be challenging without help. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Arab AL home. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide 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 usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Arab AL schools you are researching 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 decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech school you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Arab AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Right Arab X-Ray Tech Training
Selecting the ideal radiology technician college is an important first step toward initiating a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the greater part of the day and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to 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 must in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are assessing before making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the right training and your commitment to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Arab Alabama.