So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Eufaula AL so you can become a radiologic technologist. And now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about selecting the ideal school and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Many prospective students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location should be considered, there are other significant qualifiers as well. For instance, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. 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 explore what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Technician Job Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as 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 purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They may practice in Eufaula AL clinics, hospitals, family 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 have to take care of their equipment plus regularly evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which many schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Eufaula AL or their region. After 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 working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, depending on the state where you will be working you might have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many offer additional alternatives for testing as well. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options in and around Eufaula AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Colleges
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is usually provided in Eufaula AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually discover that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are generally less costly than traditional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be lessened as well. But just make sure that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiographer Colleges
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of finding and assessing x-ray tech schools near Eufaula AL. You will also have to determine if you want to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important variable as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? Most radiology technician schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to verify that the school and program 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). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive examination of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Eufaula AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the radiology tech colleges you are interested in have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Eufaula AL medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in Eufaula AL in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Eufaula AL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local 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 usually 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 Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Eufaula AL schools you are considering what the typical 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 a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Eufaula AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Right Eufaula X-Ray Tech Program
Picking the ideal x-ray technician degree program is a critical first step toward initiating a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the greater part of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As has been discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you decide on an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Eufaula Alabama.