So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Brook Highland AL so you can train to be a radiology technician. But now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you tackle picking the ideal college and program so that you will get the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice 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 looking at in order to compare each program. Many prospective students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location must be considered, there are other critical qualifications also. For example, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions 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 x-ray technician does and the degrees and education options that are available.
Radiology Technician Occupation Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical fundamental job description, which is to use 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. Some elect to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as 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 maintain their equipment plus regularly evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees
The standard prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, generally takes 18 months to two years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate also. Something to consider is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship program which many schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Brook Highland AL or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, depending on the state where you will be working you might have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several offer other options for testing also. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it might enhance your career options in and around Brook Highland AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Classes
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is often conducted in Brook Highland AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training can be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less expensive than traditional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be decreased also. But just confirm 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 structured style of training, then online classes may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
After you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of searching for and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Brook Highland AL. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material factor as well. But along with location and cost, what more should you factor in when reviewing schools? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? Most radiology tech colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still important to confirm that the school and program 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). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous examination of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Brook Highland AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the radiology tech programs you are reviewing have relationships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Brook Highland AL health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in Brook Highland AL in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Brook Highland AL residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Brook Highland AL schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the radiographer college you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Brook Highland AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Brook Highland X-Ray Tech School
Choosing the ideal x-ray technician college is an important first step toward beginning a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the greater part of the day and move and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians 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 pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As has been addressed 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 program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the proper education and your motivation to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiographer in Brook Highland Alabama.