So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Cullman AL so you can learn to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you go about selecting the right school and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Many potential students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and usually settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be taken into consideration, there are additional significant qualifications as well. For instance, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. 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 x-ray tech does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Job Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the same primary job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They may work in Cullman AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might 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 plus routinely assess its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees Offered
The primary requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, usually takes 18 months to two 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 expansive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Cullman AL or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, based on the state where you will be practicing you may need to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many provide other alternatives for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it might improve your career options in and around Cullman AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Classes
As a part of every 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 even though you can still earn your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is usually conducted in Cullman AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training may be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online style of learning is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are frequently cheaper than traditional options. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be lessened as well. But just make certain that the online school you pick 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 degree may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
Once you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Cullman AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a material variable as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you consider when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of radiology technician schools have received some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still crucial to make sure that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous review of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Cullman AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the radiology technician colleges you are interested in have associations with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Cullman AL medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Cullman AL in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Cullman AL residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local 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 need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Cullman AL colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Cullman AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Cullman X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the appropriate radiology tech school is a crucial first step toward launching a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the greater part of the workday and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As has been covered in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are considering before making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the proper training and your dedication to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Cullman Alabama.