So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Harvest AL so you can train to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you set about picking the ideal college and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might need training to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. A number of potential students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location should be taken into consideration, there are additional important qualifiers as well. For example, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Job Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the identical principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They can practice in Harvest AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might utilize 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 also routinely evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Available
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to finish and is more comprehensive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are appropriate as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Harvest AL or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, depending on the state where you will be working you may need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many provide other options for testing as well. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options in and around Harvest AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Programs
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So while you can still earn your online degree, a large portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is typically carried out in Harvest AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically find that the online style of education is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less costly than conventional options. Along with reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be reduced also. But just make certain that the online college you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Radiographer Colleges
When you have decided on the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of looking for and assessing x-ray tech schools near Harvest AL. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and secondary expenses will be an important factor as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you look at when evaluating schools? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray technician schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to verify that the school and program 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 obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous examination of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. 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 assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Harvest 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 technician colleges you are reviewing have relationships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Harvest AL medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in Harvest AL in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Harvest AL residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep 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 may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Harvest AL colleges you are researching 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 ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the xray tech school you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Harvest AL area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Harvest X-Ray Tech Training
Selecting the ideal radiology tech degree program is a critical first step toward starting a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the day and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians 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 productive work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As we have covered in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are reviewing before making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online school or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Harvest Alabama.