So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Clay AL in order to learn to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have decided to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about selecting the right college and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Many students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location should be considered, there are additional critical qualifiers also. For instance, you should find out whether or not 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 reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Occupation Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical primary job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They can practice in Clay AL hospitals, clinics, 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 care for their equipment and also regularly evaluate its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees Available
The standard requirement for attending a radiology tech school is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Clay AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, depending on the state where you will be employed you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many approve additional options for testing also. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options in and around Clay AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Programs
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a large amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is usually conducted in Clay AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically find that the online approach to education is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently less expensive than on-campus alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be decreased as well. But just make certain that the online school you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
When you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech schools near Clay AL. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a material factor also. But along with location and cost, what else should you consider when comparing colleges? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? Most xray tech schools have received some type 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 organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies 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 help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Clay AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the radiology technician schools you are reviewing have associations with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Clay AL healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Clay AL in a new profession can be difficult without support. Ask if the radiographer programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Clay AL residence. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry 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 decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Clay AL schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer college you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Clay AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Clay X-Ray Tech Program
Enrolling in the appropriate radiology technician degree program is an important first step toward beginning a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians 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 pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As has been addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are assessing prior to making your final decision. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Clay Alabama.