So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Fort Payne AL in order to learn to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about selecting the right school and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And since the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Many students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost must be taken into consideration, there are additional important qualifications as well. For example, you must ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this article. But first, let's explore what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Work Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical primary job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They can work in Fort Payne AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist 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 performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Offered
The basic prerequisite for attending a radiology tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate Degree 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 more time at up to 4 years to complete and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to consider is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Fort Payne AL or their region. After 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 working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, based on the state where you will be employed you might need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number approve additional alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it could increase your career options in and around Fort Payne AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as 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 Radiology Technologist Colleges
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree colleges. So while you can still earn your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is usually provided in Fort Payne AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training may be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree often find that the online style of learning is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are frequently less expensive than traditional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be lessened also. But just confirm that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
When you have selected the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Fort Payne AL. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online 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 supplementary expenses will be a material variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you factor in when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship 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 need to ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? A large number of radiology tech colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still crucial to verify that the school and program 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 obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive examination of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Fort Payne AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the radiology tech schools you are assessing have partnerships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Fort Payne AL health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in Fort Payne AL in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Fort Payne AL residence. Students who have opted to attend classes online 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 bear 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Fort Payne AL colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer school you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fort Payne AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Fort Payne X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the ideal radiology tech college is an important first step toward launching a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs 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 deliver the best available patient care. As has been discussed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are reviewing before making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can narrow down your options before making your decision. And with the appropriate education and your motivation to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Fort Payne Alabama.