So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Dothan AL so you can become a radiology technician. But now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you go about selecting the ideal college and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you may need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. A number of students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be taken into account, there are other important qualifiers as well. For example, you should find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiology tech does and the credentials and education options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Career Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the same primary job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They may practice in Dothan AL clinics, hospitals, family 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 evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to retain in-depth 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 standard prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, generally takes 18 months to two years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to finish and is more extensive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges 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 a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Dothan AL or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be working you might need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so check with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number approve additional options for testing as well. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase your career options in and around Dothan AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Degrees
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is typically performed in Dothan AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree often discover that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are often cheaper than on-campus alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be lessened as well. But just make certain that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
When you have selected the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and assessing x-ray technician schools near Dothan AL. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining variable also. But along with location and cost, what else should you factor in when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray technician colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to make sure that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies 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 an extensive evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Dothan AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the radiology tech schools you are reviewing have relationships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Dothan AL health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that initial job in Dothan AL in a new profession can be challenging without support. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Dothan 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 local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Dothan AL schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer program you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Dothan AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Dothan X-Ray Tech Training
Selecting the appropriate radiology tech degree program is a crucial first step toward beginning a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the working day and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As we have addressed in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the proper education and your dedication to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Dothan Alabama.