So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Harvest AL so you can train to be a radiology technician. And now that you have chosen to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle choosing the right college and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And because the majority of states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you might need training to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. A number of students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into account, there are other significant qualifications as well. For example, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and education options that are available.
X-Ray Tech Job Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical major job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They may practice in Harvest 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 plus regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees Offered
The standard prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can typically be satisfied by participating in an internship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Harvest AL or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several offer other options for testing also. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may increase your career options in and around Harvest AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Degrees
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges 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 degree online, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is typically performed in Harvest AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree often discover that the online style of learning is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are frequently cheaper than traditional options. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be reduced as well. But just make certain that the online school you pick 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.
Topics to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
Once you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of finding and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Harvest AL. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important factor as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of radiology technician colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to verify 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might 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 school for entry level openings.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the radiology technician colleges you are reviewing have associations with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional connections in the Harvest AL healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Harvest AL in a new field can be difficult without support. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication 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 School Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Harvest AL residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly 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 prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Harvest AL schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the xray tech school you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Harvest AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Harvest X-Ray Tech Program
Enrolling in the right x-ray technician school is a crucial first step toward starting a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As has been discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are reviewing before making your final selection. This is similarly 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 college so you can focus your choices and make your decision. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Harvest Alabama.