So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Bay Minette AL so you can become a radiologic technologist. But now that you have made a decision to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you set about selecting the right school and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And considering that most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you may require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Most prospective students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location should be taken into account, there are other critical qualifications also. For example, you must find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and education options that are available.
X-Ray Tech Work Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical fundamental job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They may work in Bay Minette AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might 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 also frequently assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available
The primary prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech program is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to complete and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Bay Minette AL or their area. 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.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, based on the state where you will be practicing you might need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many provide additional alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it may increase your career options in and around Bay Minette AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Colleges
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So while you can still earn your degree online, a considerable amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is typically conducted in Bay Minette AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually find that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are generally more affordable than on-campus options. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be lessened as well. But just make sure that the online program you choose 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.
Subjects to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
After you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Bay Minette AL. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be an important factor also. But along with cost and location, what else should you factor in when evaluating schools? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of xray technician schools have received some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still important to make sure that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Bay Minette AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the radiology technician programs you are assessing have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Bay Minette AL health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Bay Minette AL in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Bay Minette AL home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide 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 typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Bay Minette AL schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the radiographer school you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Bay Minette AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol 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 Training
Selecting the ideal radiology technician college is a crucial first step toward initiating a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs often stand for the majority of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As has been covered in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are considering before making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online school or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can focus your choices before making your final choice. And with the proper training and your dedication to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiographer in Bay Minette Alabama.