So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Daleville AL in order to learn to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you tackle choosing the ideal college and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And because most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you might require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Many students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location should be considered, there are other significant qualifications also. For example, you should find out whether or not 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 reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Technician Job Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the identical principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They may work in Daleville AL hospitals, clinics, private 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 have to care for their equipment plus frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also expected to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees
The basic prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally requires 18 months to two years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to complete and is more expansive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable also. Something to consider 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 taking part in an internship or externship program which many schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Daleville AL or their region. 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 practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist college, depending on the state where you will be employed you might need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many accept other alternatives for testing also. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options in and around Daleville AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Colleges
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree programs. So while you can still earn 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 typically provided in Daleville AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree often find that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are generally less expensive than conventional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be reduced also. But just be sure that the online college you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the best option for you.
What to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
Once you have selected the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Daleville AL. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a material variable as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? Most xray tech schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still important to make sure that the program and school are accredited. One of 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 undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Daleville AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the radiology technician schools you are interested in have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Daleville AL healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that initial job in Daleville AL in a new profession can be challenging without support. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Daleville AL residence. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind 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 often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Daleville AL colleges you are reviewing 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 final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the xray tech school you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must 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 alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Daleville X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the right x-ray tech degree program is a critical first step toward initiating a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines developed 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 interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As we have addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are assessing before making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can focus your choices before making your final choice. And with the right education and your commitment to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiographer in Daleville Alabama.