So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Brook Highland AL in order to learn to be a radiology technician. But now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you set about selecting the ideal school and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified professional? And since most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Many prospective students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location must be considered, there are additional significant qualifiers as well. For example, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiology technician does and the credentials and education options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Career Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the same principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They may work in Brook Highland AL clinics, hospitals, family 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 also regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain detailed records of all 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 standard prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech college 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 prevalent among technicians, usually requires 18 months to two years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may often be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Brook Highland AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be employed you may have to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so check with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several provide additional options for testing also. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could increase your career options in and around Brook Highland AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Classes
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree colleges. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is usually performed in Brook Highland AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually discover that the online style of learning is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are often cheaper than conventional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be reduced also. But just make certain that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
When you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Brook Highland AL. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a material factor also. But along with location and cost, what more should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still important to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of 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 gone through a rigorous assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Brook Highland AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the radiology tech colleges you are assessing have relationships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Brook Highland AL medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in Brook Highland AL in a new field can be difficult without support. 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 indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Brook Highland AL home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide 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 typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Brook Highland 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 decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the xray tech school you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Brook Highland AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Brook Highland X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the ideal 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. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed 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. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As has been addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are looking at before making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each school so you can focus your choices before making your decision. And with the right training and your motivation to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Brook Highland Alabama.