So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Demopolis AL in order to become a radiology technologist. And now that you have made a decision to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you undertake selecting the ideal school and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And because most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you might need preparation 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 begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be taken into consideration, there are additional significant qualifications as well. For example, you should find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiology technician does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Job Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the same primary job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They can work in Demopolis AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might work with 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 frequently analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally required 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 Tech Degrees Available
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally takes 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 extensive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to consider is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which many schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Demopolis AL or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, based on the state where you will be working you might need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number accept other options for testing also. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could improve your career options in and around Demopolis AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Schools
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So while you can still obtain your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is typically carried out in Demopolis AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically discover that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are often less expensive than conventional options. Along with lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be lessened also. But just confirm that the online program you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
As soon as you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of looking for and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Demopolis AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important variable as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of xray tech schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, 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). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Demopolis AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the radiology tech programs you are assessing have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Demopolis AL healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in Demopolis AL in a new field can be difficult without support. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Demopolis AL home. Students 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 concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly 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.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Demopolis AL colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Demopolis AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Demopolis X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the best radiology tech college is an important first step toward starting a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the day and position and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with 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. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As has been discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are considering prior to making your final decision. This is just as true whether you opt for an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the right education and your commitment to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Demopolis Alabama.