So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Chelsea AL in order to become a radiology technologist. But now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you undertake selecting the ideal school and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And since most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you may require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Many students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location should be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifications as well. For instance, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiology tech does and the degrees and education options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Work Summary
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the same fundamental job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They can work in Chelsea AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician 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 care for their equipment plus routinely analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degree Options
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 Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, generally takes 18 months to two years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Chelsea AL or their region. After you have graduated from any 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 technician college, based on the state where you will be employed you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several provide additional options for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may improve your career options in and around Chelsea AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Colleges
As a component 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 although you can still obtain your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is usually performed in Chelsea AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training may be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually find that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are generally less expensive than traditional options. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be reduced as well. But just confirm that the online college you pick 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 choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
Once you have selected the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of searching for and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Chelsea AL. You will also need to decide 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 critical. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a material variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when comparing schools? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still imperative to make sure that the school and program 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 gone through a rigorous assessment of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations 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 securing financial assistance and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Chelsea AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the radiology tech colleges you are assessing have relationships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Chelsea AL healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that initial job in Chelsea AL in a new profession can be difficult without help. Find out if the radiographer schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Chelsea AL home. Students who have decided 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 concern. Something to keep 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 might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind 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. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Chelsea AL schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student 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 converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the xray tech school you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Chelsea AL area, make certain 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 have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Chelsea X-Ray Tech School
Selecting the best radiology technician degree program is a critical first step toward starting a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the day and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As has been addressed in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are reviewing prior to 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 college so you can narrow down your options before making your decision. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Chelsea Alabama.