So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Auburn AL so you can learn to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have made a decision to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you set about selecting the ideal college and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified professional? And considering that the majority of states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Many prospective students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location must be taken into account, there are additional critical qualifiers also. For instance, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiology technician does and the credentials and education choices that are available.
Radiology Tech Occupation Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the identical 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 the treatment of cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They can work in Auburn AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may 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 assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to retain 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 standard requirement for attending an x-ray tech school is to have attained 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, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon 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 select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to consider is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Auburn AL or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, based on the state where you will be working you might have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so check with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number provide other options for testing as well. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it may improve your career options in and around Auburn AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Classes
As a component of every 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 obtain your degree online, a significant amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is usually carried out in Auburn AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training may be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often find that the online approach to education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently more affordable than on-campus alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be reduced as well. But just make sure that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Radiographer Programs
Once you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech schools near Auburn AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or drive 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 secondary expenditures will be a material factor as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you factor in when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of xray technician schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still important to make sure that the school and program are accredited. Among 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 detailed review of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Auburn AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the xray technician colleges you are assessing have relationships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Auburn AL healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Auburn AL in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Auburn AL home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Auburn AL schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the xray tech program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Auburn AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Auburn X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the best x-ray tech school is a crucial first step toward initiating a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the majority of the day and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians 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 pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As has been discussed in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are looking at before making your final decision. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each college so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the right education and your motivation to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Auburn Alabama.