So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Bay Minette AL so you can train to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have made a decision to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you set about choosing the ideal college and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And since most states do require that radiology 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 looking at in order to evaluate each program. Many potential students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost should be taken into consideration, there are additional important qualifications also. For instance, you should find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the credentials and education options that are available.
Radiology Tech Work Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the identical primary job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They may work in Bay Minette AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might 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 plus routinely analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain complete 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 Tech Degrees Offered
The standard prerequisite for attending a radiology 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 typical among techs, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to complete and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be appropriate also. Something to bear 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 satisfied by taking part in an internship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Bay Minette AL or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, based on the state where you will be employed you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many provide other alternatives for testing also. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might enhance your career options in and around Bay Minette AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Classes
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 programs. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a large amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is typically carried out in Bay Minette AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to education is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently less costly than on-campus alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be decreased as well. But just make certain that the online college you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
After you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Bay Minette AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material factor also. But along with location and cost, what more should you factor in when reviewing colleges? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to confirm that the program and school 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous review of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. 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 getting financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Bay Minette AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level openings.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the radiology technician schools you are evaluating have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Bay Minette AL healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that initial job in Bay Minette AL in a new field can be challenging without support. Find out if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Bay Minette AL home. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Bay Minette AL colleges you are looking at what the average 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 an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the radiographer college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Bay Minette 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 need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Right Bay Minette X-Ray Tech Program
Picking the ideal x-ray technician degree program is an important first step toward beginning a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As we have discussed in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are considering prior to making your final selection. This is just as true whether you decide on an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the right education and your motivation to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiology tech in Bay Minette Alabama.