So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Eufaula AL so you can learn to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have chosen to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you set about selecting the ideal school and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you might require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Most prospective students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location should be considered, there are additional important qualifiers as well. For example, you need to find out if 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 examining are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiology technician does and the credentials and education choices that are available.
Radiology Tech Occupation Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical principal job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They may practice in Eufaula AL clinics, hospitals, private 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 must maintain their equipment and also routinely assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Available
The primary requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, generally requires 18 months to two years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to finish and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to consider is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can often be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Eufaula AL or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be working you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so contact your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number offer other alternatives for testing also. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may enhance your career options in and around Eufaula AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Classes
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree schools. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is typically performed in Eufaula AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online style of learning is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online schools are frequently less expensive than conventional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. But just make sure that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
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 Eufaula AL. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a determining factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you look at 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 learn some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of radiology tech schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still crucial to make sure that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting organizations 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 examination of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Eufaula AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the xray tech colleges you are assessing have associations with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Eufaula AL medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in Eufaula AL in a new field can be difficult without support. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are assessing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Eufaula AL residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Eufaula AL schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the radiographer school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Eufaula 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 procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Eufaula X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the ideal x-ray tech college is an important first step toward initiating a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the greater part of the working day and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines 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. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As we have covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are considering prior to making your final 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 college so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the proper education and your motivation to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Eufaula Alabama.