So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Clanton AL so you can become a radiologic technician. And now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you undertake picking the right school and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Many students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into consideration, there are additional critical qualifiers also. For example, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiology technician does and the credentials and education options that are available.
Radiology Tech Work Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the same major job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They can work in Clanton AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech 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 maintain their equipment and also routinely analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees Offered
The standard prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, generally takes 18 months to 2 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 nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are acceptable also. Something to consider is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Clanton AL or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, based on the state where you will be working you may have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several accept other alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could improve your career options in and around Clanton AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Schools
As a component of any 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 colleges. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is typically conducted in Clanton AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often find that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are often cheaper than traditional options. Along with lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be reduced as well. But just make sure that the online school you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
When you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of finding and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Clanton AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a determining variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you consider when comparing schools? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship 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 must ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of xray tech schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still important to make sure that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly regarded 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 a rigorous review of their instructors 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 acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Clanton AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the radiology tech programs you are reviewing have relationships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Clanton AL health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that initial job in Clanton AL in a new profession can be challenging without support. Ask if the radiographer programs you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Clanton AL residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to 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 way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Clanton AL schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer program you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Clanton AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Right Clanton X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the appropriate radiology tech degree program is a crucial first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the workday and move and sometimes 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 guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are considering prior to making your final selection. This is equally true whether you participate in an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each college so you can narrow down your options before making your decision. And with the proper training and your commitment to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Clanton Alabama.