So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Enterprise AL in order to become a radiology technician. But now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you go about choosing the right college and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And since the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might need training to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Most prospective students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location should be considered, there are additional critical qualifications also. For instance, you must ask whether or not 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 examining are provided later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and education options that are offered.
Radiology Technician Occupation Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the identical fundamental job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They may practice in Enterprise AL clinics, hospitals, private 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 must maintain their equipment and routinely evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also expected 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 Tech Degree Options
The primary requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have attained 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 technicians, normally takes 18 months to two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to complete and is more extensive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Enterprise AL or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, based on the state where you will be employed you may need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many approve additional alternatives for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase your career options in and around Enterprise AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Degrees
As a part 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 colleges. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a significant amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is typically performed in Enterprise AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online approach to education is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are frequently more affordable than traditional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be lessened also. But just be sure that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Enterprise AL. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be an important factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you factor in when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? The majority of xray technician schools have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still imperative to verify that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed review of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Enterprise AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the radiology technician programs you are assessing have associations with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Enterprise AL healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in Enterprise AL in a new field can be difficult without support. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Enterprise AL residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Enterprise AL colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. 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 speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the xray tech college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Enterprise AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Enterprise X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the ideal x-ray tech degree program is a crucial first step toward launching a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As we have covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each school so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiographer in Enterprise Alabama.