So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Foley AL so you can train to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have chosen to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you set about picking the ideal school and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a skilled professional? And since the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you may need training to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Many prospective students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location must be taken into consideration, there are additional critical qualifiers as well. For example, you should ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiology tech does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
Radiology Technician Occupation Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the identical major job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They may work in Foley AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may 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 analyze its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees Available
The standard requirement for attending an x-ray tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, usually takes 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to complete and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are acceptable also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Foley AL or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be practicing you might need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many accept additional options for testing also. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it may increase your career options in and around Foley AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Schools
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree programs. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often performed in Foley AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training can be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are often less expensive than traditional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be lessened as well. But just be sure that the online college you choose 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 online classes may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
When you have decided on the type of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Foley AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a determining variable also. But along with location and cost, what else should you consider when comparing colleges? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? Most xray technician schools have received some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still crucial to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous examination 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 distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Foley AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the xray tech colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Foley AL healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Foley AL in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the radiographer programs you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Foley AL residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Foley AL schools 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 decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Foley AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Foley X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the appropriate x-ray technician college is a crucial first step toward initiating a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As we have discussed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each school so you can focus your choices and make your final choice. And with the right training and your commitment to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Foley Alabama.