So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Foley AL in order to train to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have decided to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you undertake selecting the ideal college and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And because most states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Many potential students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location must be taken into account, there are other important qualifiers also. For instance, you should find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the credentials and training choices that are available.
Radiology Tech Job Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the identical principal job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They can practice in Foley 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 take care of their equipment plus routinely analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical 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 equivalent. 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 technicians, normally requires 18 months to two years to complete 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 comprehensive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which many schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Foley AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, depending on the state where you will be working you may have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several accept additional options for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it could improve your career options in and around Foley AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Colleges
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So while you can still obtain your degree online, a large amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is often provided in Foley AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online style of education is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are generally less expensive than traditional options. Along with lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be decreased also. But just be sure that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
Once you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of finding and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Foley AL. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a material factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you consider when reviewing schools? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? Most xray technician colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to verify that the school and program 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed examination of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Foley AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the xray tech schools you are reviewing have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Foley AL medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in Foley AL in a new profession can be difficult without help. Ask 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 a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Foley AL residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Foley AL schools you are considering what the typical 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 converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the xray tech program you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Foley AL area, check that they are available. 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, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Foley X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the right radiology tech college is a critical first step toward starting a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the workday and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As has been covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can focus your choices and make your decision. And with the right training and your commitment to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiographer in Foley Alabama.