So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Glencoe AL so you can learn to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have decided to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you undertake picking the ideal school and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified professional? And considering that most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Many prospective students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into consideration, there are other critical qualifications as well. For example, you must find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and training choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Job Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the identical fundamental job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They may practice in Glencoe AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might work with 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 and frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are also required to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degrees
The basic prerequisite for attending a radiology tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, usually requires 18 months to two years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to finish and is more expansive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Glencoe AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be working you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several offer other options for testing also. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options in and around Glencoe AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Degrees
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is usually carried out in Glencoe AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree often discover that the online style of education is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are generally more affordable than traditional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be decreased as well. But just make certain 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 degree may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
When you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Glencoe AL. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be an important variable as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? Most xray tech schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still imperative to make sure that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations 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 a detailed evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it can 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 guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Glencoe AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the radiology technician schools you are interested in have relationships with local 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 practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Glencoe AL healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in Glencoe AL in a new field can be difficult without support. Find out if the radiographer 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 great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Glencoe AL residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online 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 school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Glencoe AL schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer college you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Glencoe AL area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours 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 emergencies.
Choose the Best Glencoe X-Ray Tech School
Picking the ideal radiology technician degree program is a critical first step toward starting a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the working day and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As has been covered in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each school so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your motivation to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiographer in Glencoe Alabama.