So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Calera AL in order to become a radiology technician. And now that you have made a decision to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you tackle picking the ideal school and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And because most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you may need training to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. A number of prospective students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be taken into account, there are additional critical qualifications as well. For example, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
Radiology Technician Work Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical primary job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They may practice in Calera AL hospitals, clinics, 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 take care of their equipment and also frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees Offered
The basic requirement for attending a radiology tech school is to have received 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 typical among technicians, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to complete 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 expansive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Calera AL or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may have to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number approve other alternatives for testing as well. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it could enhance your career options in and around Calera AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Schools
As a part 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 although you can still earn your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is typically conducted in Calera AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually discover that the online style of education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online schools are frequently less costly than traditional options. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be lessened also. But just confirm that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
After you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of searching for and assessing x-ray tech schools near Calera AL. You will also need 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 school will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be an important factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you consider when comparing schools? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? Most xray technician colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still important to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous examination of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Calera AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the xray technician schools you are interested in have partnerships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Calera AL healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in Calera AL in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the radiographer programs you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Calera AL residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide 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 normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Calera AL colleges you are looking at 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 an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the xray tech college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Calera AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Calera X-Ray Tech Program
Enrolling in the ideal x-ray technician school is a critical first step toward launching a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the majority of the day and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As has been covered in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are assessing before making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you decide on an online school or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can narrow down your options before making your decision. And with the appropriate training and your dedication to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a radiographer in Calera Alabama.