So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Daphne AL so you can become a radiologic technologist. But now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you go about picking the right school and program so that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And because the majority of states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. A number of students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be considered, there are additional significant qualifications also. For instance, you must find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiology technician does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Career Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the same major job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They can practice in Daphne AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may 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 and also routinely assess its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Offered
The basic prerequisite for attending a radiology tech college is to have attained 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 techs, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more extensive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Daphne AL or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be working you might need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many provide additional options for testing also. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options in and around Daphne AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Colleges
As a component of any 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 even though you can still earn your degree online, a significant amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is typically provided in Daphne AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training may be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually discover that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less expensive than conventional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be reduced as well. But just be sure that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of finding and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Daphne AL. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you factor in when reviewing schools? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? Most xray technician colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still important to verify 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). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Daphne AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the xray technician schools you are reviewing have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to obtain hands on 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 assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Daphne AL health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in Daphne AL in a new field can be difficult without help. Find out if the radiographer programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Daphne AL residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern 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 might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Daphne AL schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer college you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Daphne AL area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Best Daphne X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the right x-ray tech college is an important first step toward launching a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs often stand for the greater part of the day and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As has been covered in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are looking at prior to making your final selection. This is equally true whether you participate in an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each college so you can narrow down your options and make your decision. And with the right education and your dedication to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Daphne Alabama.