So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Brook Highland AL in order to become a radiology technician. But now that you have chosen to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about picking the ideal college and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified professional? And since most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Many prospective students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into account, there are other significant qualifications as well. For example, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this post. But first, let's explore what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and education options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Work Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same fundamental job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They may practice in Brook Highland AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must care for their equipment and routinely analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees Offered
The basic prerequisite for attending a radiology tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are acceptable also. Something to consider is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Brook Highland AL or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so check with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several provide other alternatives for testing as well. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it could improve your career options in and around Brook Highland AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous 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 Colleges
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree programs. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is often provided in Brook Highland AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online style of education is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are often cheaper than conventional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be reduced as well. But just confirm that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online school may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
When you have decided on the type of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Brook Highland AL. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still imperative to verify that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting agencies 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 detailed assessment of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies 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 help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Brook Highland AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the xray tech programs you are interested in have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Brook Highland AL health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in Brook Highland AL in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Brook Highland AL residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back 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 Brook Highland AL colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the xray tech school you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Brook Highland AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Brook Highland X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the right x-ray tech college is a critical first step toward launching a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs often stand for the greater part of the day and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict 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 doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As we have covered in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are considering prior to making your final selection. This is just as true whether you decide on an online program or commute 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 commitment to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiographer in Brook Highland Alabama.