So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Eufaula AL in order to become a radiology technologist. But now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you undertake picking the right college and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And since the majority of states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. A number of students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location should be considered, there are additional important qualifiers as well. For instance, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Career Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the same primary job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They may practice in Eufaula AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to maintain their equipment plus regularly assess its functionality 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.
Radiology Tech Degree Options
The standard prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech program 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 common among technicians, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to complete and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Eufaula AL or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist college, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number accept additional alternatives for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is optional. However, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it might enhance your career options in and around Eufaula AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Classes
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is often carried out in Eufaula AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree often discover that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are often less costly than conventional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting 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 formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
After you have selected the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of looking for and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Eufaula 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 critical. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of radiology tech colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still important to verify 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous examination of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Eufaula AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the radiology tech programs you are reviewing have relationships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Eufaula AL healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in Eufaula AL in a new profession can be difficult without support. Find out if the radiographer schools you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Eufaula AL home. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally 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 consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Eufaula AL colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the xray tech school you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Eufaula 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 carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Eufaula X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the appropriate radiology technician degree program is a crucial first step toward starting a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the greater part of the working day and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines 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. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As we have discussed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are looking at before making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the proper training and your motivation to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a radiology tech in Eufaula Alabama.