So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Glencoe AL in order to become a radiologic technician. And now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle choosing the right college and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And because the majority of states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you might require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Many students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location must be taken into account, there are other critical qualifications as well. For instance, you should find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Job Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the same principal job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen 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 have to care for their equipment and regularly evaluate its performance and safety. They are also required to retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees
The standard prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, usually requires 18 months to two years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are acceptable also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can often be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Glencoe AL or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be working you might need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number approve other options for testing also. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it might enhance your career options in and around Glencoe AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Schools
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So although you can still earn your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is typically conducted in Glencoe AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically find that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less expensive than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be reduced as well. But just make sure that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the benefits 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 option for you.
What to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
When you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Glencoe AL. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you consider when comparing colleges? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? A large number of radiology tech colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still imperative to confirm that the program and school 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it might also earn 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 help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Glencoe AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the radiology technician programs you are assessing have associations with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive practical 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 assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Glencoe AL healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in Glencoe AL in a new profession can be challenging without help. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will have 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 local internships will be of importance. Something to bear 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 might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Glencoe AL schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer school you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Glencoe AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Best Glencoe X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the appropriate radiology technician school is a critical first step toward starting a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the greater part of the working day and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As we have discussed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are assessing before making your final decision. This is equally true whether you opt for an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can narrow down your options and make your final choice. And with the proper training and your dedication to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiographer in Glencoe Alabama.