So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Homewood AL in order to become a radiologic technologist. But now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you undertake picking the right school and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And since most states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Most prospective students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into consideration, there are additional significant qualifiers also. For example, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiology technician does and the credentials and education options that are offered.
Radiology Technician Career Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical fundamental job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They may practice in Homewood AL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might work with 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 and frequently evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain detailed 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 Offered
The standard requirement for attending a radiology tech program is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more expansive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are appropriate as well. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Homewood AL or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be working you may have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number approve other alternatives for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may enhance your career options in and around Homewood AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Colleges
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree schools. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is usually conducted in Homewood AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are generally less expensive than on-campus alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just make certain that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Homewood AL. You will also need to decide if you prefer 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 expenses will be a determining factor also. But along with location and cost, what else should you consider when evaluating schools? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray technician colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to confirm that the program and school 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). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Homewood AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level positions.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the xray technician programs you are interested in have relationships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Homewood AL health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in Homewood AL in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the radiographer programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Homewood AL residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Homewood AL schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer school you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Homewood AL area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Homewood X-Ray Tech School
Choosing the best x-ray tech college is a crucial first step toward initiating a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the workday and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As has been covered in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are assessing before making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each college so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the proper education and your dedication to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiology tech in Homewood Alabama.