So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Homewood AL in order to become a radiologic technician. And now that you have decided to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you undertake choosing the ideal school and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And since most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. A number of prospective students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into consideration, there are other important qualifications also. 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 considering are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiology technician does and the degrees and training options that are available.
X-Ray Tech Job Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same major job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They may practice in Homewood AL clinics, hospitals, 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 have to care for their equipment plus regularly evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain 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 Tech Degree Options
The basic requirement for attending an x-ray tech school is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to complete and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may often be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Homewood AL or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, based on the state where you will be employed you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. Presently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number approve other alternatives for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options in and around Homewood 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 other year, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Schools
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree colleges. So while you can still earn your degree online, a large portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is usually carried out in Homewood AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training may be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually discover that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are often less costly than on-campus options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be reduced as well. But just make certain that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Radiographer Schools
Once you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Homewood AL. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a material variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? A large number of radiology technician schools have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to make sure that the school and program 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). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on 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 quality education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Homewood AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the radiology technician programs you are interested in have associations with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Homewood AL health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in Homewood AL in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid 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 highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Homewood AL home. Students 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 concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Homewood AL schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the xray tech college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Homewood AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Homewood X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the right radiology technician college is a crucial first step toward starting a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the working day and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians 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 productive work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As has been covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are considering prior to making your final selection. This is just as true whether you decide on an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each school so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the proper education and your commitment to be successful, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Homewood Alabama.