So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Chickasaw AL so you can become a radiology technician. And now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you undertake choosing the ideal school and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled professional? And since the majority of states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Many prospective students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location should be considered, there are other important qualifications also. For instance, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Career Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the identical fundamental job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They may work in Chickasaw AL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist 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 plus frequently assess its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degree Options
The standard requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, generally takes 18 months to two years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable also. Something to consider is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which many schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Chickasaw AL or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several accept other alternatives for testing also. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it may improve your career options in and around Chickasaw AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Programs
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is usually carried out in Chickasaw AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training may be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online approach to education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online schools are frequently less expensive than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just make sure that the online program you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
After you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Chickasaw AL. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important variable as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you consider when comparing colleges? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? Most radiology technician colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still important to verify that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive assessment of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Chickasaw AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the xray technician schools you are assessing have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Chickasaw AL health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that initial job in Chickasaw AL in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Chickasaw AL home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing 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 need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Chickasaw AL colleges you are reviewing 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 ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Chickasaw AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify 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 might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Right Chickasaw X-Ray Tech Training
Picking the ideal x-ray technician college is a critical first step toward starting a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines developed 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 interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As we have discussed in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. This is just as true whether you opt for an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each program so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the right training and your motivation to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Chickasaw Alabama.