So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Auburn AL in order to train to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have chosen to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you undertake picking the right college and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And considering that most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you might require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. A number of potential students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location should be considered, there are other significant qualifiers also. For example, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and training choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Job Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the identical major job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They may practice in Auburn AL hospitals, clinics, 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 have to take care of their equipment plus frequently analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees
The basic requirement for attending an x-ray tech school is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to complete and is more expansive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are acceptable also. One thing to consider is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Auburn AL or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, based on the state where you will be working you might have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many accept other alternatives for testing also. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it could improve your career options in and around Auburn AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Degrees
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree colleges. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is typically conducted in Auburn AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically find that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are frequently less costly than traditional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be lessened also. But just confirm that the online college you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
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 Auburn AL. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a material variable as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you factor in when evaluating schools? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? Most xray technician schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous examination of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Auburn AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the xray tech schools you are reviewing have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Auburn AL health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that initial job in Auburn AL in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Auburn AL residence. Individuals who have opted 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 importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Auburn AL schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the xray tech program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Auburn AL area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Auburn X-Ray Tech School
Selecting the ideal x-ray tech college is a critical first step toward beginning a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs often stand for the majority of the workday and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal 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 report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are looking at before making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you participate in an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each school so you can focus your options before making your decision. And with the right education and your commitment to succeed, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiographer in Auburn Alabama.