So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Chelsea AL so you can learn to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have decided to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you go about selecting the ideal college and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's important that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. A number of prospective students begin by looking 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 cost and location need to be considered, there are other significant qualifications also. For instance, you must find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the credentials and training choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Job Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical primary job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They can work in Chelsea AL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to take care of their equipment and also regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Offered
The standard requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech program 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 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 more time at as much as four years to complete and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Chelsea AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, based on the state where you will be working you may have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so contact your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many approve other alternatives for testing also. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it may improve 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 demands re-certification every two years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Classes
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So although you can still earn your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is usually carried out in Chelsea AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often find that the online style of learning is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently less expensive than on-campus alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be reduced also. But just confirm that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
After you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Chelsea AL. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and secondary expenses will be an important variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you consider when reviewing colleges? 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 selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? Most xray technician schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to confirm 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online 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 premium education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Chelsea AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the radiology tech programs you are assessing have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional connections in the Chelsea AL medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in Chelsea AL in a new field can be challenging without support. Find out if the radiographer programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Chelsea AL residence. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program 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 for those students that don't reside within 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 prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Chelsea AL colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech school you ultimately select 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 evening or weekend classes in the Chelsea AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Chelsea X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the right radiology technician school is an important first step toward launching a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As has been covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are considering prior to making your final decision. This is equally true whether you opt for an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the right education and your dedication to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Chelsea Alabama.