So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Eufaula AL in order to learn to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you set about picking the ideal school and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. A number of potential students start by searching 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 should be considered, there are other critical qualifiers as well. For example, you need to find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a radiology technician does and the credentials and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Career Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the same primary job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They may work in Eufaula AL clinics, hospitals, family 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 care for their equipment plus frequently analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options
The standard requirement for attending a radiology tech college 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 common among technicians, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to finish and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be appropriate as well. Something to consider is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Eufaula AL or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be practicing you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many offer other options for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it may improve your career options in and around Eufaula AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Programs
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a significant amount 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 hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to education is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are frequently cheaper than traditional options. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be decreased as well. But just confirm that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Eufaula AL. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be an important factor also. But along with location and cost, what else should you factor in when reviewing schools? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray technician colleges have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still crucial to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed review of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Eufaula AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the radiology tech colleges you are assessing have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Eufaula AL health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that initial job in Eufaula AL in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Eufaula AL residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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 Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Eufaula AL schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the xray tech school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose 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 attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Eufaula X-Ray Tech Training
Selecting the right x-ray tech school is a crucial first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the day and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. 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 productive work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As has been addressed in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are assessing before making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you decide on an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each school so you can focus your options before making your decision. And with the proper training and your dedication to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Eufaula Alabama.