So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Center Point AL so you can become a radiology technologist. But now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you set about selecting the ideal school and program so that you will get the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And since most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you might require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. A number of prospective students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost must be considered, there are other critical qualifications also. For instance, you must find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and education options that are available.
Radiology Tech Work Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the identical fundamental job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They may work in Center Point AL clinics, hospitals, family 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 have to maintain their equipment plus routinely assess its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees
The basic prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to finish and is more expansive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Center Point AL or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be working you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several accept additional alternatives for testing also. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may improve your career options in and around Center Point AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Programs
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree programs. So while you can still earn your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is often carried out in Center Point AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently more affordable than traditional options. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. But just make sure that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
After you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Center Point AL. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of xray tech schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still imperative to make sure that the school and program 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous review of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Center Point AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the radiology tech programs you are reviewing have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Center Point AL medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in Center Point AL in a new field can be difficult without support. Ask if the radiographer programs you are reviewing have job assistance 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 substantiates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Center Point AL home. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry 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 choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Center Point AL schools you are considering what the average 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 instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer college you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Center Point AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol 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 Training
Picking the right radiology tech degree program is a crucial first step toward starting a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs often stand for the majority of the workday and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show 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 radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity 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 need to ask each program you are considering prior to making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can focus your choices and make your decision. And with the appropriate education and your motivation to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiology tech in Center Point Alabama.