So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Brewton AL so you can train to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have chosen to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you go about choosing the right college and program so that you will get the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you may require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Many prospective students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost must be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifications as well. For instance, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and education options that are offered.
Radiology Technician Occupation Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the same primary job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They may practice in Brewton AL clinics, hospitals, family 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 have to maintain their equipment plus routinely assess its performance and safety. They are additionally required to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees Offered
The primary requirement for attending a radiology tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more expansive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are acceptable also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Brewton AL or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist college, depending on the state where you will be employed you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number offer additional alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could increase your career options in and around Brewton AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous 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 Radiology Technologist Classes
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a significant amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is often provided in Brewton AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online style of education is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are often more affordable than traditional options. In addition to lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. But just make sure that the online program you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
After you have selected the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Brewton AL. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a material factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you factor in when evaluating schools? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? A large number of xray tech colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still important to verify that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive examination of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it might also receive 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. In addition to ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Brewton AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the xray technician colleges you are assessing have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent 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 help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Brewton AL healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in Brewton AL in a new field can be challenging without support. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they select will need to be within driving distance of their Brewton AL residence. Students who have chosen 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 concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even 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 usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Brewton AL colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer school you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Brewton AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Brewton X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the right radiology technician college is an important first step toward starting a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs often stand for the greater part of the working day and move and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs 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 discussed in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are assessing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can narrow down your options before making your decision. And with the right education and your motivation to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Brewton Alabama.