So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Chelsea AL so you can train to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about picking the right school and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And because most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. A number of students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location must be considered, there are other significant qualifications also. For example, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Career Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical major job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They may work in Chelsea AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may utilize 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 frequently analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees
The primary requirement for attending an x-ray tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, generally requires 18 months to two 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 finish and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to consider is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can often be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Chelsea AL or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, depending on the state where you will be working you might have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements 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 exam for the licensing application, but many offer other options for testing as well. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options in and around Chelsea AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Degrees
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 while you can still obtain your online degree, a large amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is often performed in Chelsea AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually find that the online approach to education is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are frequently more affordable than on-campus options. Along with reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be reduced also. But just make sure that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of searching for and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Chelsea AL. You will also need to decide if you want to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you look at when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? A large number of radiology tech colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still important to verify that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive examination of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting agencies 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 assist in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Chelsea AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the xray tech schools you are reviewing have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Chelsea AL medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in Chelsea AL in a new profession can be challenging without support. Find out if the radiographer programs you are assessing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Chelsea AL residence. Those who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Chelsea AL schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the radiographer program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Chelsea AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Chelsea X-Ray Tech School
Selecting the right radiology technician degree program is a crucial first step toward initiating a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the workday and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs 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 furnish the best possible patient care. As has been discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you decide on an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can narrow down your options and make your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiology tech in Chelsea Alabama.