So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Demopolis AL so you can learn to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you undertake picking the ideal school and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might require training to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. A number of prospective students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location should be taken into account, there are additional important qualifications also. For example, you must ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Occupation Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, 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 might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They may practice in Demopolis AL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment and also routinely assess its performance and safety. They are also required to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to finish and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate also. Something to consider is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Demopolis AL or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, based on the state where you will be working you might have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number accept additional options for testing as well. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might improve your career options in and around Demopolis AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Degrees
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges 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 online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is often conducted in Demopolis AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are frequently more affordable than on-campus alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be lessened as well. But just confirm that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
As soon as 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 tech schools near Demopolis AL. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be an important factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you consider when reviewing schools? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray tech schools have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still imperative to confirm that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded 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 an extensive review of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online 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 premium education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Demopolis AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the radiology tech programs you are evaluating have partnerships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Demopolis AL medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Demopolis AL in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the radiographer programs you are assessing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Demopolis AL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep 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 may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Demopolis AL schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the xray tech program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide 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 offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses 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 illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Demopolis X-Ray Tech School
Picking the appropriate radiology technician school is a crucial first step toward initiating a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the greater part of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As has been discussed in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are reviewing before making your final decision. This is just as true whether you opt for an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each college so you can focus your choices before making your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your motivation to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiographer in Demopolis Alabama.