So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Enterprise AL so you can train to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you set about choosing the ideal school and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And since the majority of states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you might require training to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Many prospective students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and frequently gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location must be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifications also. For example, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a radiology tech does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Career Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the identical primary job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They may practice in Enterprise AL hospitals, clinics, 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 plus routinely analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees
The basic requirement for attending a radiology tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, normally 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 comprehensive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may often be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Enterprise AL or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be employed you might have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so check with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many offer other alternatives for testing also. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may increase your career options in and around Enterprise AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Programs
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree programs. So while you can still earn your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college 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 keep working while earning their degree typically find that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are generally cheaper than conventional options. Along with lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be decreased as well. But just confirm 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.
Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
When you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Enterprise AL. You will also need to determine if you want to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you factor in when comparing colleges? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? A large number of radiology technician colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still imperative to verify that the school and program are accredited. Among 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 gone through a rigorous review of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Enterprise AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the xray technician programs you are interested in have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional connections in the Enterprise AL health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in Enterprise AL in a new profession can be difficult without help. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Enterprise AL residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Enterprise AL colleges you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Enterprise AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out 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 Program
Enrolling in the right radiology tech school is a critical first step toward launching a gratifying 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 greater part of the workday 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 adhere to the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As has been discussed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each college so you can narrow down your options before making your decision. And with the proper training and your commitment to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a radiology tech in Enterprise Alabama.