So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Fairhope AL so you can become a radiologic technician. But now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you tackle picking the ideal college and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And since most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Most students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location need to be considered, there are additional critical qualifications as well. For instance, you must find out 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 post. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and education options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Work Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the same primary job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They can work in Fairhope AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might 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 plus routinely evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degrees
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have received 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 takes 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may often be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Fairhope AL or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many accept other options for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could increase your career options in and around Fairhope AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which can be fulfilled 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 practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a significant amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is usually provided in Fairhope AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training can be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are generally less expensive than on-campus alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be lessened also. But just confirm that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
As soon as you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of finding and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Fairhope AL. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? A large number of xray tech colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still imperative 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed assessment of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. 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 premium education, accreditation will also help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Fairhope AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the radiology tech colleges you are evaluating have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Fairhope AL healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in Fairhope AL in a new field can be challenging without help. Find out if the radiographer schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Fairhope AL residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern 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 school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for 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 hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Fairhope AL colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher 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 speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the xray tech school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fairhope AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Fairhope X-Ray Tech School
Choosing the right radiology technician degree program is a crucial first step toward beginning a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As has been discussed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are considering before making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you decide on an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can focus your choices and make your final choice. And with the proper training and your dedication to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiographer in Fairhope Alabama.