So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near East Florence AL so you can train to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have decided to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about picking the ideal college and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. A number of students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location need to be considered, there are additional significant qualifications also. For example, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiology tech does and the credentials and training choices that are available.
Radiology Technician Occupation Summary
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the same primary job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They may work in East Florence AL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might work with 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 and also frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available
The primary prerequisite for attending a radiology tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to complete and is more expansive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in East Florence AL or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist program, based on the state where you will be employed you might need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so check with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several provide other options for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might enhance your career options in and around East Florence AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Classes
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a significant amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is often conducted in East Florence AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree often find that the online style of education is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are generally more affordable than conventional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be reduced as well. But just make sure that the online college you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
Once you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near East Florence AL. You will also have to determine if you want to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a determining factor as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you consider when reviewing schools? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of xray technician colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to confirm 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 evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it may also obtain 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. Besides guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of East Florence AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level positions.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the radiology technician schools you are evaluating have associations with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the East Florence AL health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in East Florence AL in a new field can be difficult without support. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are assessing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will need to be within driving distance of their East Florence AL residence. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the East Florence AL schools you are reviewing 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 a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the xray tech college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the East Florence AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best East Florence X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the appropriate radiology tech degree program is a critical first step toward initiating a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the workday and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As has been addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you decide on an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your motivation to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to work as a X-ray tech in East Florence Alabama.