So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Center Point AL in order to learn to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have decided to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about picking the ideal school and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And because the majority of states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you might require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you research 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 usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be taken into consideration, there are additional significant qualifiers also. For example, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and education options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Work Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the identical primary job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They can practice in Center Point AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may 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 routinely evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain detailed 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 Available
The primary requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to complete and is more extensive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable as well. Something to consider is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can often be satisfied by participating in an internship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Center Point AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, based on the state where you will be working you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many offer additional options for testing also. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it could improve your career options in and around Center Point AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Schools
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So while you can still earn your degree online, a considerable amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is usually carried out in Center Point AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training may be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically discover that the online style of education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less costly than traditional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. But just confirm that the online college you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
Once you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Center Point AL. You will also need to determine if you want to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when comparing schools? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? Most radiology technician colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to make sure that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed review of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Center Point AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the xray tech schools you are reviewing have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional connections in the Center Point AL healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in Center Point AL in a new field can be challenging without support. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Center Point AL home. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? 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 prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Center Point AL schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Center Point AL area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative 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 might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Center Point X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the right x-ray technician degree program is a crucial first step toward initiating a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements 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. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As has been covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are assessing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you opt for an online school or drive 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 education and your commitment to succeed, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Center Point Alabama.