How to Become a Radiology Technician near Dauphin Island Alabama
So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Dauphin Island AL in order to become a radiologic technologist. But now that you have chosen to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you undertake picking the right college and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified professional? And since the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you may require training to pass a licensing exam. So it’s imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Many prospective students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost should be taken into account, there are additional important qualifications as well. For instance, you need to ask 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 evaluating are presented later in this article. But first, let’s explore what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Work Summary in Dauphin Island AL
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They can practice in Dauphin Island AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may utilize 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 additionally expected to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available near Dauphin Island AL
The standard requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are acceptable also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may often be fulfilled by taking part in an externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Dauphin Island AL or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, based on the state where you will be practicing you may need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number accept other options for testing also. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many Dauphin Island area employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it may enhance your career options in and around Dauphin Island AL to become certified. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which can be satisfied 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 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 considerable portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is usually conducted in Dauphin Island AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your Dauphin Island home. Students who continue working while earning their degree often find that the online style of learning is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are generally cheaper than traditional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be decreased as well. But just make certain that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
As soon as you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of finding and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Dauphin Island AL. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a determining factor as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you factor in when comparing colleges? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of xray technician colleges have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still important to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of 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 undergone a rigorous review of their teachers and educational materials. If the college 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 ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Dauphin Island AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the radiology technician programs you are assessing have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Dauphin Island AL medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Dauphin Island AL in a new profession can be challenging without help. Find out if the radiographer programs you are considering 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 great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Dauphin Island AL home. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps 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.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Dauphin Island AL colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Dauphin Island AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Considering X-ray Tech School near Dauphin Island AL?
If you are considering enrolling in a radiology tech school near Dauphin Island AL, following is some interesting background information that may assist you in making your decision to live in that area.
Dauphin Island, Alabama
Dauphin Island is a town in Mobile County, Alabama, United States, on a barrier island of the same name (split by the Katrina Cut), at the Gulf of Mexico. It incorporated in 1988. The population was 1,238 at the 2010 census. The town is included in the Mobile metropolitan area. The island (originally named "Massacre Island") was renamed for Louis XIV of France's great-grandson and heir, the dauphin, the future Louis XV of France. The name of the island is often mistaken as "Dolphin Island"; dauphin means Prince or Oldest Son of the King in French.
The Gulf of Mexico is to the south of the island; the Mississippi Sound and Mobile Bay are to the north. The island's eastern end helps define the mouth of Mobile Bay. The eastern, wider portion of the island is shaded by thick stands of pine trees and saw palmettos, but the narrow, western part of the island features scrub growth and few trees.
Dauphin Island is home to Fort Gaines, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, The Estuarium public aquarium, the Dauphin Island Airport, boat ramps, a large public pier (that sits on dry land), historic sites, several restaurants, new condominium developments, and numerous private homes. Beaches attract tourism, and fishing is a popular activity in the waters around the island. The island is connected to the mainland by the Gordon Persons Bridge.
Choose the Ideal X-Ray Technician School near Dauphin Island AL
Selecting the best radiology tech college is a crucial first step toward launching a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct 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. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As we have addressed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are reviewing before making your final decision. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each college so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the proper education and your dedication to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Dauphin Island AL.
More Magnificent Cities in Alabama