So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Atmore AL in order to train to be a radiology technician. But now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you go about choosing the ideal school and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may require training to pass a licensing examination. 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 potential students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and frequently settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location need to be considered, there are other important qualifications also. For example, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiology tech does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Work Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical primary job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They may practice in Atmore AL clinics, hospitals, family 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 must take care of their equipment and also routinely analyze its functionality and safety. They are also required 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.
Radiology Tech Degrees
The basic requirement for attending a radiology tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, generally takes 18 months to two years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be appropriate as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Atmore AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, based on the state where you will be employed you may need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number accept additional alternatives for testing also. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase your career options in and around Atmore AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Programs
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree programs. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a significant amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is typically performed in Atmore AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are often less expensive than conventional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be decreased as well. But just make certain that the online program you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the right choice for you.
What to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
When you have chosen the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of finding and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Atmore AL. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining factor also. But along with location and cost, what more should you consider when evaluating schools? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have earned 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 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 detailed evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Atmore AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the xray technician colleges you are reviewing have relationships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Atmore AL health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in Atmore AL in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the radiographer schools you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Atmore AL home. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Atmore AL colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student 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 speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the xray tech school you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Atmore AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Atmore X-Ray Tech Training
Selecting the right x-ray technician college is a critical first step toward starting a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the greater part of the working day and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As we have addressed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Atmore Alabama.