So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Glencoe AL so you can train to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have chosen to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake selecting the right school and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And since most states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you might require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Most students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost need to be considered, there are additional important qualifications as well. For instance, you should find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Career Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the same primary job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They can work in Glencoe AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may utilize 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 and also regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally required to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees
The basic requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, usually takes 18 months to two years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more expansive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are acceptable as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship program which many schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Glencoe AL or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be working you might have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several approve other alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may increase your career options in and around Glencoe AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Programs
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a significant amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is usually conducted in Glencoe AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training can be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually find that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are often more affordable than conventional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be reduced as well. But just be sure that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
After you have chosen the type of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of finding and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Glencoe AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a determining variable also. But along with cost and location, what else should you factor in when reviewing schools? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? Most radiology technician colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still imperative to confirm 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed review of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online 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 quality education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Glencoe AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the radiology technician colleges you are assessing have partnerships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Glencoe AL medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Glencoe AL in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the radiographer programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Glencoe AL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble 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 choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Glencoe AL colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the xray tech college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Glencoe AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Glencoe X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the best x-ray tech school is a crucial first step toward initiating a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the day and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict 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 technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and provide the best available patient care. As we have covered in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are considering prior to making your final selection. This is just as true whether you participate in an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the appropriate training and your dedication to be successful, you can achieve your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Glencoe Alabama.