So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Brewton AL in order to learn to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have chosen to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you go about selecting the ideal college and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And because most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you may need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Most students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location must be taken into account, there are other critical qualifications 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 should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the credentials and training options that are available.
X-Ray Tech Job Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the identical principal job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They can practice in Brewton AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist 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 plus routinely analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep 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 Offered
The standard prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, usually requires 18 months to two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to finish and is more extensive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Brewton AL or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist program, based on the state where you will be working you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number approve additional alternatives for testing also. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it could improve your career options in and around Brewton AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Schools
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So while you can still earn your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is usually carried out in Brewton AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically discover that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are generally more affordable than conventional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be reduced also. But just be sure that the online college you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
Once you have selected the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of looking for and assessing x-ray tech schools near Brewton AL. You will also need to determine if you want to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a material factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of radiology technician colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still important to verify that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive examination of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Brewton AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the radiology technician programs you are interested in have relationships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Brewton AL medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that initial job in Brewton AL in a new profession can be difficult without help. Find out if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Brewton AL home. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to 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 way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Brewton AL colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the xray tech school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Brewton AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Brewton X-Ray Tech Program
Picking the ideal radiology technician school is a crucial first step toward beginning a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the day and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. 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 good work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As has been covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you decide on an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each college 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 work as a X-ray tech in Brewton Alabama.