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 technician. And now that you have made a decision to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle selecting the ideal school and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified professional? And since most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you might require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. A number of potential students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be considered, there are additional significant qualifiers also. For example, you must find out 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 reviewing are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and training choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Description
There are a number of professional designations 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 major job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They may practice in Brewton AL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to take care of their equipment and routinely analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degrees
The primary requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to complete and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are appropriate also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may typically be satisfied by participating in an internship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Brewton AL or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be working you might need to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with 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 several approve additional alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is optional. However, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options in and around Brewton AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Classes
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a large amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is usually performed in Brewton AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually find that the online style of education is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are frequently less costly than traditional options. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be decreased as well. But just make certain that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
When you have selected the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of searching for and assessing x-ray technician schools near Brewton AL. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material 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 provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? Most xray tech schools have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still crucial to verify that the program and school 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 a detailed review of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations 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 help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Brewton AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the xray technician programs you are evaluating have partnerships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Brewton AL medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in Brewton AL in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the radiographer schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they decide on 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 area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Brewton AL schools you are reviewing 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 final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the xray tech school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Brewton AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Brewton X-Ray Tech School
Selecting the right x-ray tech college is a critical first step toward launching a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the working day and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs 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 we have discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the proper training and your commitment to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Brewton Alabama.