So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Boaz AL so you can learn to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have made a decision to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you tackle selecting the right school and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And since the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you might require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Many students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into account, there are additional important qualifications as well. For example, you must find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the same fundamental job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They can practice in Boaz AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may 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 frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are also required to keep in-depth 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 Available
The standard prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, usually requires 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 4 years to finish and is more expansive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer schools 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 schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Boaz AL or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, based on the state where you will be working you might need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several offer other alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options in and around Boaz AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Colleges
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges 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 online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is often performed in Boaz AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training can be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online style of education is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are generally more affordable than on-campus options. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be lessened as well. But just make certain that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Boaz AL. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important factor as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you consider when comparing colleges? Well, you should 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 should ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? A large number of xray tech schools have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still important to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of 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 an extensive examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Boaz AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level openings.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the xray technician schools you are assessing have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Boaz AL healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in Boaz AL in a new field 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 an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Boaz AL residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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 Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Boaz AL colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student 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 an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Boaz AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option 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 might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Boaz X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the best radiology technician college is a crucial first step toward launching a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the majority of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements 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. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are considering before making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the proper training and your motivation to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiographer in Boaz Alabama.