So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Daleville AL so you can learn to be a radiology technician. But now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you tackle choosing the ideal college and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And since the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might 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. A number of students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location should be taken into account, there are other important qualifiers also. For example, you should ask whether or not 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 evaluating are presented later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and training choices that are available.
Radiology Tech Job Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical primary job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They may work in Daleville AL clinics, hospitals, 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 take care of their equipment and also frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degree Options
The standard requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech school is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. 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, generally takes 18 months to two years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable as well. 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 often be satisfied by taking part 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 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 technician program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so contact 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 provide other alternatives for testing also. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may improve your career options in and around Daleville AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Classes
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 while you can still obtain your degree online, a considerable amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often carried out in Daleville AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training may be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online style of education is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are often less expensive than on-campus options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be lessened as well. But just confirm that the online program you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Radiographer Programs
After you have selected the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Daleville AL. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these important details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? The majority of xray technician colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still imperative to confirm that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Daleville AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the radiology tech programs you are evaluating have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Daleville AL medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in Daleville AL in a new profession can be difficult without support. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Daleville AL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally 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 school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Daleville AL schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the radiographer college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Daleville AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Right Daleville X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the best radiology tech school is an important first step toward initiating a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the day and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed 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 social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As we have covered in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the proper education and your motivation to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Daleville Alabama.