So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Daleville AL in order to train to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you go about choosing the right school and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And because most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you may require training to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Many prospective students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location should be considered, there are other critical qualifiers also. For example, you should find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the same primary job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They can work in Daleville AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment and routinely evaluate its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete 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. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can often be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Daleville AL or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an Radiologist program, based on the state where you will be working you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many approve additional alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it could improve your career options in and around Daleville AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Colleges
As a part of every 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 earn your degree online, a large portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is often conducted in Daleville AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training can be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are often less costly than traditional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be reduced as well. But just make sure 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 style of training, then an online school may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
After you have decided on the type of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of looking for and assessing x-ray tech schools near Daleville AL. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a determining variable as well. But along with location and cost, what more should you look at when evaluating schools? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to verify 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 a detailed evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Daleville AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the radiology technician programs you are assessing have relationships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional connections in the Daleville AL healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in Daleville AL in a new profession can be difficult without help. Ask if the radiographer programs you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Daleville AL home. Individuals who have opted 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. Something 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 may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly 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 prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Daleville AL colleges you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the xray tech college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Daleville AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Daleville X-Ray Tech School
Selecting the best radiology tech college is a critical first step toward launching a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the workday and position and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As we have addressed in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are reviewing before making your final selection. This is just as true whether you decide on an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the right training and your commitment to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiology tech in Daleville Alabama.