So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Clanton AL in order to become a radiologic technician. But now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you set about selecting the right college and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you may require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Many prospective students start by looking for colleges or technical schools 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 taken into account, there are other significant qualifications also. For instance, you should ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a radiology tech does and the degrees and education choices that are offered.
Radiology Technician Job Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the same major job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They can practice in Clanton AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might utilize 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 plus frequently evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain 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
The basic requirement for attending an x-ray tech program is to have received 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 typical among techs, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to finish and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Clanton AL or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing 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 school, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so check with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many provide additional alternatives for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it may improve your career options in and around Clanton AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Schools
As a component 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 colleges. So although you can still earn your online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is typically carried out in Clanton AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree often discover that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online schools are often cheaper than conventional options. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be reduced also. But just be sure that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
When you have selected the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Clanton AL. You will also have to determine if you want to attend online classes or commute 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 secondary expenses will be an important variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? Most radiology technician schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still imperative to confirm that the school and program 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 undergone a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Clanton AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the radiology tech colleges you are reviewing have associations with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Clanton AL healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in Clanton AL in a new field can be difficult without support. Ask if the radiographer programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Clanton AL home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally 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 person that prefers to sit way 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 personalized instruction. Ask the Clanton AL colleges you are reviewing what the typical 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 decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the xray tech college you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Clanton AL area, make certain 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 enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Clanton X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the ideal radiology tech college is a critical first step toward starting a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the day and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology 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 has been covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are looking at before making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can focus your choices and make your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Clanton Alabama.