So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Daphne AL so you can learn to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you go about choosing the ideal school and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And because the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might need training to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. A number of potential students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be considered, there are other significant qualifications as well. For example, you should find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and training options that are available.
Radiology Technician Work Summary
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the same principal job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They may work 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 have to care for their equipment and routinely analyze its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees
The standard requirement for attending a radiology tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, usually takes 18 months to two years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more expansive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are appropriate also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can typically be satisfied by participating in an internship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Daphne AL or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be working you may have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number accept other alternatives for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may improve 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 rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Colleges
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree schools. So while you can still obtain your degree online, a large amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is usually conducted in Daphne AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training can be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less costly than traditional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be lessened also. But just make sure that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Radiographer Programs
When you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of looking for and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Daphne AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining factor as well. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you look at when evaluating schools? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to confirm that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous examination of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Daphne AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the radiology technician schools you are evaluating have partnerships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Daphne AL healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in Daphne AL in a new field can be challenging without help. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Daphne AL home. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Daphne AL colleges you are looking at what the average 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 determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech school you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Daphne AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Daphne X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the best radiology tech degree program is a crucial first step toward launching a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs often stand for the greater part of the workday and move and in some cases 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 requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray 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 deliver the best possible patient care. As has been discussed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the right education and your dedication to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Daphne Alabama.