So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Daleville AL so you can become a radiologic technologist. And now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you undertake choosing the ideal school and program so that you will get the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may require training to pass a licensing examination. 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 students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location must be taken into consideration, there are other significant qualifications as well. For example, you need to find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiology tech does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Occupation Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the identical primary job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They may practice in Daleville 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 have to take care of their equipment plus routinely evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Available
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, normally requires 18 months to two years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to complete and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to consider is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Daleville AL or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, based on the state where you will be employed you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many provide additional alternatives for testing as well. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may improve your career options in and around Daleville AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Degrees
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So while you can still earn your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is often conducted in Daleville AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training may be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically discover that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are often less costly than traditional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be decreased as well. But just make sure that the online program you select 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.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Daleville AL. You will also need to determine if you want to attend online classes or drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material factor as well. But along with location and cost, what more should you factor in when reviewing schools? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? The majority of radiology technician schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to verify 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 earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed examination of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online 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 superior education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Daleville AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the xray tech programs you are reviewing have relationships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional connections in the Daleville AL healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in Daleville AL in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the radiographer schools you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the college they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Daleville AL residence. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Daleville AL schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the radiographer school you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Daleville AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Daleville X-Ray Tech School
Selecting the appropriate radiology tech college is a critical first step toward initiating a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the working day and move and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As we have addressed in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are considering before making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you participate in an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can narrow down your options and make your final choice. And with the proper training and your motivation to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Daleville Alabama.