So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Dothan AL so you can become a radiology technician. But now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you set about selecting the ideal college and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you may require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. A number of students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into account, there are other important qualifications as well. For instance, you should ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiology technician does and the credentials and training options that are available.
Radiology Technician Work Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the same principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They may work in Dothan AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to care for their equipment and also routinely analyze its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees
The basic prerequisite for attending a radiology tech school is to have earned 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 prevalent among techs, normally requires 18 months to two years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Dothan AL or their area. After you have graduated from one 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.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an Radiologist program, based on the state where you will be employed you may need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so check with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number offer additional options for testing also. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may increase your career options in and around Dothan 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 demands re-certification every other year, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Classes
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 although you can still earn your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is usually conducted in Dothan AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training can be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree often find that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are often less expensive than conventional options. In addition to lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be decreased as well. But just confirm that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the advantages 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 Radiographer Schools
When you have chosen the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Dothan AL. You will also need to determine if you want to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a determining factor as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you consider when reviewing schools? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? The majority of xray technician colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still crucial to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies 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 an extensive examination of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Dothan AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the xray tech schools you are assessing have relationships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Dothan AL healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in Dothan AL in a new field can be challenging without help. Find out if the radiographer programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Dothan AL home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Dothan AL colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Dothan AL area, confirm 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 need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Dothan X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the ideal x-ray tech school is an important first step toward beginning a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As has been discussed 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 program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the right training and your dedication to succeed, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiographer in Dothan Alabama.