So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Enterprise AL in order to train to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you tackle picking the ideal college and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And since most states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Many prospective students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost must be taken into consideration, there are additional important qualifications as well. For instance, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and education options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Work Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the same principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They can work in Enterprise AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to take care of their equipment and also regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees
The primary requirement for attending a radiology tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, normally takes 18 months to two years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to complete and is more expansive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are acceptable also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Enterprise AL or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be employed you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several approve additional options for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may enhance your career options in and around Enterprise AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Classes
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is usually provided in Enterprise AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training can be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are often less costly than conventional options. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be lessened as well. But just make sure that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
When you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of looking for and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Enterprise AL. You will also need to decide if you want to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a determining factor also. But along with cost and location, what more should you look at when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor 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 must ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still important to confirm that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Enterprise AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the radiology tech programs you are reviewing have relationships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Enterprise AL medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in Enterprise AL in a new field can be difficult without help. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Enterprise AL residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide 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 often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Enterprise AL schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the xray tech school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Enterprise AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out 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 Enterprise X-Ray Tech School
Choosing the ideal radiology tech degree program is a crucial first step toward launching a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the day and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As we have discussed in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are assessing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the right training and your commitment to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiology tech in Enterprise Alabama.