So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Dixiana AL in order to train to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about choosing the right school and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Most students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost should be considered, there are additional important qualifications as well. For example, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the credentials and education options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Job Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical fundamental job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They may practice in Dixiana AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must take care of their equipment and frequently assess its functionality and safety. They are also required to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees
The primary requirement for attending an x-ray tech school is to have earned 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 common among techs, usually takes 18 months to two years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to finish and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are acceptable also. One thing to consider is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Dixiana AL or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an Radiologist college, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so check with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several approve additional options for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options in and around Dixiana AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Degrees
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So while you can still earn your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is typically conducted in Dixiana AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically find that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less costly than traditional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be reduced also. But just make sure that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
Once you have selected the type of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of looking for and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Dixiana AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you consider when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? Most radiology technician colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still imperative to verify 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 detailed examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Dixiana AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the xray tech colleges you are assessing have associations with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Dixiana AL healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in Dixiana AL in a new field can be challenging without support. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Dixiana AL home. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose 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 typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Dixiana AL colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the radiographer school you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Dixiana AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Dixiana X-Ray Tech Training
Picking the right radiology tech degree program is a crucial first step toward launching a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the working day and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As has been addressed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are reviewing before making your final selection. This is just as true whether you opt for an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the right training and your dedication to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Dixiana Alabama.