So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Daphne AL in order to train to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you go about selecting the ideal college and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled professional? And since most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Many prospective students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and usually settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location need to be considered, there are other significant qualifiers as well. For example, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
Radiology Tech Job Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the identical fundamental job description, which is to employ 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 choose to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They may practice in Daphne AL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must care for their equipment plus regularly assess its functionality and safety. They are also required to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degree Options
The standard prerequisite for attending a radiology tech college is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, normally requires 18 months to two years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be appropriate as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Daphne AL or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number accept other options for testing also. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options in and around Daphne AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Colleges
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is typically provided in Daphne AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to education is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are often less expensive than conventional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be reduced also. But just make certain 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.
Points to Ask Radiographer Schools
When you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Daphne 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 of course the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important factor also. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you factor in when reviewing schools? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? Most xray technician colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still important to make sure that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive evaluation 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 distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Daphne AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the radiology tech programs you are interested in have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Daphne AL medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in Daphne AL in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Daphne AL residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally 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 choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Daphne AL schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. 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 speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the xray tech program you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Daphne AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Daphne X-Ray Tech School
Choosing the ideal radiology technician degree program is a critical first step toward initiating a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs often stand for the greater part of the workday and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray 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 good work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As has been covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you decide on an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the proper education and your motivation to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Daphne Alabama.