So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Arab AL in order to become a radiologic technologist. And now that you have chosen to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you tackle picking the ideal college and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And since most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might need training to pass a licensing exam. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Most prospective students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location should be considered, there are other important qualifications as well. For instance, you must ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiology technician does and the degrees and education choices that are offered.
Radiology Technician Career Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the same fundamental job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They can practice 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 have to take care of their equipment plus regularly analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options
The primary prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech college is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, normally requires 18 months to two years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to complete and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are appropriate also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can often be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Arab AL or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, based on the state where you will be practicing you may need to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several provide additional alternatives for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers would rather 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 accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Classes
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree programs. So although you can still earn your degree online, a large portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is typically provided in Arab AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online style of education is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are often less costly than on-campus options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be lessened also. But just make certain that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits 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 ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
When you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of looking for and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Arab AL. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material variable also. But along with location and cost, what more should you look at when comparing schools? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? Most xray technician schools have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still important to make sure that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed examination of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Arab AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the xray technician programs you are evaluating have partnerships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Arab AL medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in Arab AL in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the radiographer schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent 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 School Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Arab AL home. Individuals who have chosen 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 consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Arab AL schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the xray tech college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Arab AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Arab X-Ray Tech School
Choosing the ideal x-ray technician school is an important first step toward starting a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the day and position and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As has been discussed in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are considering 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 focus 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 radiologic technologist in Arab Alabama.