So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Brewton AL so you can become a radiologic technologist. And now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about picking the ideal college and program so that you will get the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And since most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you may require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Most students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be considered, there are other critical qualifiers also. For instance, you need to find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the identical major job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They can work in Brewton AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician 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 also frequently analyze its performance and safety. They are also expected 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.
Radiology Tech Degrees
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have earned 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 common among technicians, normally requires 18 months to two years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to complete and is more extensive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate also. Something to consider is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Brewton AL or their region. After you have graduated from one 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 Technician Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, depending on the state where you will be working you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many offer additional options for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might improve your career options in and around Brewton AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Degrees
As a component 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 programs. So although you can still earn your degree online, a considerable amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is usually conducted in Brewton AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training can be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are frequently more affordable than conventional options. Along with lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be decreased as well. But just make certain that the online college you enroll in 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 school may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiology 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 searching for and assessing x-ray technician schools near Brewton AL. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be an important variable also. But along with cost and location, what more should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? Most xray technician schools have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to confirm that the program and school 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 earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Brewton AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level positions.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the xray tech programs you are reviewing have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Brewton AL health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in Brewton AL in a new field can be difficult without help. Find out if the radiographer schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Brewton AL residence. Those who have chosen 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 importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Brewton AL colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the xray tech school you ultimately pick 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 evening or weekend classes in the Brewton AL area, check that they are available. 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 have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Brewton X-Ray Tech School
Choosing the right x-ray technician degree program is an important first step toward starting a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the greater part of the day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements designed 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 interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As we have addressed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are considering before making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you participate in an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each college so you can focus your choices and make your decision. And with the appropriate training and your motivation to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Brewton Alabama.