So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Harvest AL in order to become a radiologic technician. And now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle picking the ideal college and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled professional? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might need training to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. A number of potential students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into account, there are other critical qualifications as well. For instance, you need to find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
Radiology Technician Career Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the same fundamental job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They may practice in Harvest AL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may work with 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 plus routinely evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degree Options
The standard requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, generally takes 18 months to two years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more extensive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can often be satisfied by participating in an internship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Harvest AL or their region. Once you have graduated from one 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 Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be employed you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several offer additional options for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it could increase 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 comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Schools
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So although you can still earn your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is usually conducted in Harvest AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree often find that the online style of learning is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online schools are generally less expensive than conventional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be decreased as well. But just make sure that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online school may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Radiographer Programs
After you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Harvest AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a determining factor also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you factor in when evaluating schools? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? Most xray technician colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still imperative to confirm 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive examination of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on 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 guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Harvest AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the radiology technician schools you are assessing have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to get hands on experience 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 establish professional connections in the Harvest AL healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in Harvest AL in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the radiographer schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Harvest AL home. Those who have decided 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 importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Harvest AL schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the radiographer program you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to 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 need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure 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 Program
Selecting the appropriate x-ray technician college is an important first step toward initiating a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the working day and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As has been addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online program or travel 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 appropriate education and your dedication to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Harvest Alabama.