So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Chickasaw AL so you can become a radiology technologist. And now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you go about picking the right school and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And since the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Many students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and frequently gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into account, there are additional critical qualifications as well. For instance, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Occupation Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical major job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They may work in Chickasaw AL clinics, hospitals, private 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 and also routinely assess its functionality and safety. They are also required to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degrees
The standard requirement for attending an x-ray tech college is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish 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 expansive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be appropriate as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which many schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Chickasaw AL or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be employed you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria 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 purpose of licensing, but many offer other alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might increase your career options in and around Chickasaw AL to become certified. 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 two years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Programs
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree schools. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is typically carried out in Chickasaw AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training may be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are often less expensive than conventional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be lessened also. But just confirm that the online program you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
Once you have selected the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Chickasaw AL. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a material variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you consider when reviewing colleges? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these important details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? Most xray tech schools have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. 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). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive review of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Chickasaw AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the xray tech schools you are evaluating have associations with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Chickasaw AL medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in Chickasaw AL in a new profession can be challenging without help. Find out if the radiographer schools you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Chickasaw AL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want 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 typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the xray tech school you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Chickasaw AL area, make certain 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 have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Chickasaw X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the right radiology tech college is a critical first step toward initiating a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the majority of the day and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. 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 furnish the best possible care to patients. As has been covered in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing before making your final selection. 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 analyze and compare each program so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the proper training and your dedication to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiographer in Chickasaw Alabama.