So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Demopolis AL so you can become a radiologic technician. And now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about choosing the right college and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And because the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you may require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. A number of prospective students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost should be taken into consideration, there are other important qualifiers as well. For instance, you must ask whether or not 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 provided later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a radiology tech does and the degrees and education choices that are offered.
Radiology Tech Career Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the identical principal job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They can work in Demopolis AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may utilize 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 functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degree Options
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to finish and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Demopolis AL or their area. Once 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 practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, based on the state where you will be employed you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several accept additional options for testing also. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it may increase your career options in and around Demopolis AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Degrees
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree colleges. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is typically conducted in Demopolis AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training can be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are frequently cheaper than traditional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be decreased also. But just make certain that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
As soon as you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Demopolis AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and secondary expenses will be a material factor also. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you consider when reviewing colleges? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? Most xray technician schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still important to make sure that the school and program 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 earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Demopolis AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the xray tech schools you are interested in have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional connections in the Demopolis AL health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in Demopolis AL in a new profession can be difficult without help. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Demopolis AL home. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one 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 converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Demopolis AL area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Best Demopolis X-Ray Tech School
Selecting the right radiology tech college is a crucial first step toward beginning a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the greater part of the day and position and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As we have addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. This is just as true whether you opt for an online school or drive 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 appropriate education and your commitment to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiographer in Demopolis Alabama.