So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Florence AL in order to become a radiologic technician. But now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you go about picking the right school and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a qualified professional? And considering that most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately work 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 considering in order to evaluate each program. Many prospective students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be taken into consideration, there are other important qualifications also. For example, you should ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiology technician does and the credentials and training choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Work Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the same principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They may practice in Florence AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must care for their equipment and also regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees Offered
The primary requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to complete and is more expansive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Florence AL or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, depending on the state where you will be employed you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so get in touch with 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 accept additional alternatives for testing as well. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options in and around Florence AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Classes
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree programs. So although you can still earn your degree online, a considerable amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is usually conducted in Florence AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training may be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically discover that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are generally less expensive than conventional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be reduced 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 disciplined enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
After you have decided on the type of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Florence AL. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a material factor as well. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you factor in when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to find out if the colleges 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 compiled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? A large number of radiology tech colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still important to verify that the program and school 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 obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Florence AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the xray technician colleges you are assessing have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Florence AL health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in Florence AL in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Florence AL residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Florence AL schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer program you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Florence AL area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Florence X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the best radiology technician college is a critical first step toward starting a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements 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. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As has been addressed in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are reviewing before making your final decision. This is equally true whether you decide on an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each program so you can focus your options and make your final choice. And with the right education and your motivation to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Florence Alabama.