So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Clanton AL in order to learn to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you go about picking the ideal college and program so that you will get the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you might require training to pass a licensing exam. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Many prospective students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and frequently gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location should be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifiers also. For example, you must find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiology technician does and the degrees and training options that are available.
Radiology Technician Work Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the same fundamental 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. Many elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They may work in Clanton AL hospitals, clinics, family 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 take care of their equipment and also frequently analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees
The standard requirement for attending a radiology tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, generally takes 18 months to two years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish and is more expansive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are acceptable as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may often be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Clanton AL or their area. 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.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be working you might need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements 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 examination for the licensing application, but many provide other alternatives for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it could enhance your career options in and around Clanton AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Schools
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So while you can still earn your degree online, a significant amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is typically conducted in Clanton AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training may be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually discover that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are generally cheaper than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be decreased as well. But just be sure that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiographer Programs
As soon as you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Clanton AL. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a determining variable also. But along with cost and location, what else should you consider when reviewing 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 essential details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? Most xray technician colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to confirm that the program and school 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 obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed review of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Clanton AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the xray technician colleges you are reviewing have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Clanton AL medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in Clanton AL in a new profession can be challenging without support. Find out if the radiographer programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Clanton AL residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly 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.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Clanton AL schools 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 decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the xray tech program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Clanton AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Clanton X-Ray Tech School
Choosing the ideal radiology technician degree program is a critical first step toward beginning a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow 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. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As we have addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are assessing before making your final decision. This is just as true whether you participate in an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the right education and your dedication to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiology tech in Clanton Alabama.