So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near East Florence AL in order to train to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have chosen to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you set about picking the ideal college and program so that you will get the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And because the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you might require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. A number of students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be taken into account, there are other critical qualifications as well. For example, you should ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. 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 radiologic technician does and the degrees and education options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the identical fundamental job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They can practice in East Florence 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 and routinely assess its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degree Options
The standard requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, generally requires 18 months to two years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to complete and is more expansive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in East Florence AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be working you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so contact your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number provide other options for testing also. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options in and around East Florence AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Degrees
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So although you can still earn your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is usually carried out 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 comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually discover that the online approach to education is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are generally more affordable than traditional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be lessened as well. But just make sure that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
When you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of searching for and assessing x-ray tech colleges near East Florence AL. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be an important factor also. But along with location and cost, what more should you consider when evaluating colleges? 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 important details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of radiology technician colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to verify 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). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance 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 premium education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous East Florence AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the xray technician colleges you are reviewing have associations with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the East Florence AL medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in East Florence AL in a new profession can be challenging without support. Find out if the radiographer programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their East Florence AL home. Those who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern 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 school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the East Florence AL schools you are researching 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 final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the xray tech program you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the East Florence AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best East Florence X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the ideal radiology tech college is a critical first step toward beginning a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the working day and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available patient care. As has been covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are looking at before making your final selection. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each college so you can focus your options and make your final choice. And with the right training and your motivation to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to work as a X-ray tech in East Florence Alabama.