So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Glencoe AL so you can learn to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have chosen to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake selecting the right college and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And since most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. A number of students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be taken into account, there are other important qualifiers also. For example, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the degrees and training options that are available.
X-Ray Tech Career Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical major job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, 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 may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment and also frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options
The primary prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech program is to have received 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 techs, usually takes 18 months to two years to complete based upon 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 scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are appropriate as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Glencoe AL or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might need to become licensed. Most states do require 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 purpose of licensing, but many offer other alternatives for testing also. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it may improve your career options in and around Glencoe AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Colleges
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So although you can still earn your degree online, a large amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is usually carried out in Glencoe AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online style of education is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are frequently cheaper than traditional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be lessened as well. But just make sure that the online program you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiographer Schools
When you have selected the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Glencoe AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be an important variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you factor in when reviewing schools? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? Most radiology technician schools have earned some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to confirm that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies 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 a rigorous review of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. 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 getting financial assistance and student loans, which are often not accessible 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 a graduate of an accredited college for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the xray tech programs you are evaluating have relationships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Glencoe AL health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in Glencoe AL in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Glencoe AL residence. Students who have chosen 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. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps 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 typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Glencoe AL schools you are looking at what the typical 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Glencoe AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Glencoe X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the right x-ray tech college is a critical first step toward starting a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the workday and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow 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. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As we have covered in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing before making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the proper education and your commitment to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiographer in Glencoe Alabama.