So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Fort Payne AL in order to become a radiologic technologist. But now that you have made a decision to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you tackle picking the right college and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And since the majority of 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 investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Many potential students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location must be taken into consideration, there are other important qualifications also. For example, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and training options that are available.
Radiology Technician Career Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the identical principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They may work in Fort Payne AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might utilize 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 plus regularly evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep detailed 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 standard prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, normally requires 18 months to two years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to complete and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar 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 can typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which many schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Fort Payne AL or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be employed you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many offer other options for testing also. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options in and around Fort Payne AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Schools
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is usually conducted in Fort Payne AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training may be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually discover that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online schools are frequently more affordable than conventional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be reduced also. But just be sure that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Radiographer Schools
Once you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Fort Payne AL. You will also need to determine if you want to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you factor in when reviewing colleges? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray technician schools have received some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to make sure that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Fort Payne AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the radiology technician programs you are interested in have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Fort Payne AL health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in Fort Payne AL in a new field can be difficult without help. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Fort Payne AL home. 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. 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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 kind of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Fort Payne AL colleges you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer 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 perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the radiographer school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Fort Payne AL area, check 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 enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Fort Payne X-Ray Tech Training
Selecting the appropriate x-ray technician degree program is an important first step toward initiating a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently 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 show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians 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 pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As we have covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are considering prior to making your final decision. This is equally true whether you decide on an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiographer in Fort Payne Alabama.