So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Eufaula AL so you can learn to be a radiology technician. But now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you set about selecting the right college and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you may require training to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Many potential students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost need to be considered, there are additional critical qualifiers as well. For instance, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
Radiology Technician Occupation Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the identical fundamental job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to work 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 may work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must take care of their equipment and regularly assess its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain 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 Degrees Available
The primary prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. 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, generally takes 18 months to two years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to finish and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are appropriate as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can often be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Eufaula AL or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, based on the state where you will be working you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many offer additional options for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it could 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 comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Degrees
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 programs. So while you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is typically conducted in Eufaula AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training may be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree often discover that the online approach to education is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are often less expensive than on-campus alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be lessened as well. But just be 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 structured type of training, then an online degree may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
After you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of looking for and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Eufaula AL. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or travel to a local 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 a determining variable as well. But along with location and cost, what more should you consider when reviewing schools? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? Most radiology tech colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still important to verify 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed assessment 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 online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies 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 securing financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Eufaula AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the radiology technician programs you are assessing have associations with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Eufaula AL health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in Eufaula AL in a new profession can be challenging without support. Ask if the radiographer programs you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Eufaula AL residence. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear 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 average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the xray tech program you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Eufaula AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Eufaula X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the ideal radiology technician degree program is an important first step toward initiating a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the majority of the day and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As has been discussed in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are assessing prior to making your final 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 choices and make your decision. And with the proper training and your motivation to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiology tech in Eufaula Alabama.