So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Daphne AL in order to train to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have made a decision to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about selecting the right college and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And because the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential 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 looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost must be considered, there are other critical qualifications also. For instance, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, 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 article. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and training choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Job Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the same major job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They may practice in Daphne AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech 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 evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally required to keep complete 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 Technician Degrees Available
The primary prerequisite for attending a radiology tech program is to have attained 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 typical among technicians, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are acceptable as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which many schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Daphne AL or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist program, based on the state where you will be working you might need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number approve other options for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it may enhance your career options in and around Daphne AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Schools
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is often provided in Daphne AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training may be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are often more affordable than on-campus options. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be decreased also. But just be sure 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 structured style of training, then an online degree may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
Once you have decided on the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of searching for and assessing x-ray technician schools near Daphne AL. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a determining variable as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you factor in when reviewing schools? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these important details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? Most radiology tech colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still crucial to confirm that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting organizations 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 rigorous review of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Daphne AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the radiology tech schools you are evaluating have relationships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional connections in the Daphne AL healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in Daphne AL in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Daphne AL residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose 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 typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear 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 one-on-one instruction. Ask the Daphne AL schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the radiographer program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Daphne AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Daphne X-Ray Tech Program
Picking the right radiology tech school is a critical first step toward beginning a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As has been discussed in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing before making your final decision. This is just as true whether you opt for an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each college so you can focus your choices and make your decision. And with the right training and your dedication to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiographer in Daphne Alabama.