So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Daleville AL in order to learn to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake selecting the right school and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And since the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you might require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential 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 searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location must be taken into consideration, there are additional critical qualifiers as well. For instance, you must find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let's explore what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and training choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Job Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the same primary job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They may work in Daleville AL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might 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 routinely evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are appropriate also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may typically be satisfied by participating in an internship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Daleville AL or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be working you may have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number approve additional alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it may increase your career options in and around Daleville AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for 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 fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Degrees
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So while you can still obtain your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is usually carried out in Daleville AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree often discover that the online approach to education is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are generally more affordable than conventional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be lessened as well. But just confirm that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
After you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of finding and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Daleville AL. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important factor as well. But along with location and cost, what more should you look at when comparing schools? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of radiology tech schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to make sure that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected 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 rigorous review of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting agencies 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 help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Daleville AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the radiology tech programs you are evaluating have associations with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Daleville AL health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in Daleville AL in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the radiographer schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Daleville AL home. Students who have opted 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 importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Daleville AL schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer school you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Daleville AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Daleville X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the best x-ray technician school is an important first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the working day and move and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As we have addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each college so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the appropriate training and your motivation to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Daleville Alabama.