So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Atmore AL in order to learn to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have chosen to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle picking the ideal school and program so that you will get the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And because the majority of states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Most students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost should be taken into account, there are additional critical qualifications also. For instance, you should ask whether or not 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 considering are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Work Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the identical principal job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They may practice in Atmore AL hospitals, clinics, private 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 must care for their equipment and also routinely assess its performance and safety. They are also required to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees Offered
The primary prerequisite for attending a radiology tech school 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 techs, normally takes 18 months to two years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Atmore AL or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification requirements 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 tech college, based on the state where you will be working you might need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number offer additional alternatives for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may increase your career options in and around Atmore AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Classes
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a large portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is often provided in Atmore AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually find that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less costly than conventional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just confirm that the online college you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Radiographer Programs
As soon as you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Atmore AL. You will also have to determine 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 college will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a determining variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you look at when evaluating schools? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? Most radiology technician schools have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous review of their instructors 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 recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Atmore AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the xray tech colleges you are assessing have relationships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Atmore AL healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in Atmore AL in a new profession can be difficult without help. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are assessing 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 substantiates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Atmore AL home. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Atmore AL schools you are researching 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the xray tech college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Atmore AL area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Atmore X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the ideal x-ray technician school is a crucial first step toward launching a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the greater part of the day and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As we have covered in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are considering prior to making your final decision. This is equally true whether you enroll 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 options and make your decision. And with the proper education and your motivation to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Atmore Alabama.