So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Demopolis AL so you can train to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle picking the right school and program so that you will get the proper training to become a qualified professional? And since most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Most potential students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into account, there are additional critical qualifiers also. For instance, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and training options that are available.
Radiology Tech Work Description
There are several professional titles 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, each has the same primary job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They can practice in Demopolis AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might work with 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 analyze its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options
The basic requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students 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 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to complete and is more extensive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can often be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Demopolis AL or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be employed you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many offer additional options for testing also. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options in and around Demopolis AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Classes
As a part 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 even though you can still earn your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is often carried out in Demopolis AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training may be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically find that the online style of education is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are frequently less expensive than conventional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be lessened also. But just confirm that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of locating and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Demopolis AL. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and secondary expenses will be a material variable as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still important to verify that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations 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 review of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Demopolis AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the radiology technician schools you are assessing have associations with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Demopolis AL medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in Demopolis 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 an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Demopolis AL home. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind 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 often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Demopolis AL colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher 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 speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the xray tech college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Demopolis AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Demopolis X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the right x-ray technician degree program is a critical first step toward launching a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the working day and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As has been addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the appropriate training and your motivation to succeed, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Demopolis Alabama.