So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Glencoe AL in order to become a radiology technologist. But now that you have made a decision to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you undertake picking the ideal college and program so that you will get the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Most potential students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location must be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifiers as well. For instance, you need to find out whether or not 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 examining are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Occupation Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical principal job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They can work in Glencoe AL clinics, hospitals, family 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 have to take care of their equipment plus regularly analyze its functionality and safety. They are also required to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options
The primary prerequisite for attending a radiology tech school is to have received 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 common among techs, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to finish and is more expansive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which many schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Glencoe AL or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be employed you may need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many approve additional options for testing also. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it could increase your career options in and around Glencoe AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Classes
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools 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 degree online, a significant amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is usually performed in Glencoe AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically find that the online approach to education is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently less expensive than conventional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be lessened also. But just be sure that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages 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 right choice for you.
What to Ask Radiographer Programs
When you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Glencoe AL. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material variable as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you consider when evaluating schools? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? Most radiology technician colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive review of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Glencoe AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the xray technician programs you are reviewing have partnerships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive 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 may help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Glencoe AL health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in Glencoe AL in a new field can be challenging without support. Find out if the radiographer schools you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they select will need to be within driving distance of their Glencoe AL residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly 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 sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Glencoe AL colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the xray tech school you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Glencoe AL area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Glencoe X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the appropriate x-ray tech degree program is a critical first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the workday and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As has been addressed in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are assessing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you opt for an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each school so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiographer in Glencoe Alabama.