So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Clay AL in order to learn to be a radiology technician. And now that you have made a decision to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you undertake picking the right college and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a skilled professional? And since most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you might require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Most prospective students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be taken into account, there are other significant qualifications also. For instance, you must find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented 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 Job Summary
There are multiple 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 identical fundamental job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They may work in Clay AL hospitals, clinics, family 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 must care for their equipment and routinely analyze its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep 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 Technician Degrees Offered
The primary requirement for attending an x-ray tech college is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, usually takes 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to finish and is more extensive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are appropriate as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Clay AL or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, based on the state where you will be working you might need to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many approve additional alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it may enhance your career options in and around Clay AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Classes
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree programs. So although you can still earn your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is typically provided in Clay AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training can be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online style of learning is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online schools are often less costly than conventional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be reduced also. But just confirm that the online school 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 school may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiographer Programs
After you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray technician 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 choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a determining factor also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? Most radiology technician colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still imperative to verify that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies 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 evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Clay AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the xray tech schools you are evaluating have associations with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Clay AL medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Clay AL in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Clay AL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Clay AL schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the xray tech college you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Clay AL area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Clay X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the ideal radiology tech school is a critical first step toward beginning a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs often stand for the majority of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show 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 techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As has been addressed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate 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 examine and compare each program so you can focus your choices and make your final choice. And with the proper education and your dedication to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiology tech in Clay Alabama.