So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Enterprise AL so you can become a radiologic technologist. But now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about selecting the ideal college and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And since the majority of states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you might require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. A number of prospective students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into consideration, there are additional critical qualifications also. For example, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and education options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Occupation Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same major job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They can practice in Enterprise AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may work with 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 regularly evaluate its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees
The standard prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, usually requires 18 months to two years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to finish and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Enterprise AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one 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 Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be employed you may need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several offer additional alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it could enhance your career options in and around Enterprise AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Colleges
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 obtain your online degree, a significant amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is usually carried out in Enterprise AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually discover that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently less costly than traditional options. Along with lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be lessened as well. But just make sure that the online program you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
Once you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of finding and assessing x-ray technician schools near Enterprise AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to make sure 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). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive review 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 education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Enterprise AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level positions.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the xray tech programs you are evaluating have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Enterprise AL healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in Enterprise AL in a new profession can be difficult without help. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Enterprise AL home. Those who have chosen 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 concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide 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 normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Enterprise AL colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Enterprise AL area, check 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 carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Enterprise X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the ideal radiology technician school is a critical first step toward beginning a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As has been covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are assessing before making your final decision. This is equally true whether you opt for an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each college so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the proper training and your commitment to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Enterprise Alabama.