So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Harvest AL so you can train to be a radiology technician. But now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about selecting the right college and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled professional? And considering that the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Most potential students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location must be taken into consideration, there are additional significant qualifiers also. For example, you must find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Work Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical principal job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They can practice in Harvest AL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to take care of their equipment plus routinely evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also required to retain complete 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 Degrees Offered
The primary prerequisite for attending a radiology tech school is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, normally takes 18 months to two years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Harvest AL or their area. 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.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be employed you may need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many accept other options for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it could enhance your career options in and around Harvest AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Degrees
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 no different for online degree programs. So while you can still earn your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is usually provided in Harvest AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to education is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently less costly than conventional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be lessened also. But just be sure that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
When you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of searching for and assessing x-ray technician schools near Harvest AL. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and secondary expenses will be a material variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? A large number of radiology technician schools have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still imperative to make sure that the school and program are accredited. One of 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 teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Harvest AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the xray technician programs you are evaluating have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Harvest AL medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Harvest AL in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable 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 lot of students, the college they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Harvest AL residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Harvest AL colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the xray tech college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Harvest AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Right Harvest X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the ideal x-ray tech school is a critical first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As we have addressed in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are assessing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the proper training and your commitment to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiographer in Harvest Alabama.