So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Homewood AL in order to become a radiologic technologist. And now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you undertake picking the ideal college and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing test. 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. Most potential students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into consideration, there are other critical qualifications as well. For instance, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and education options that are offered.
Radiology Technician Work Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the same major job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They can work 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 care for their equipment plus routinely analyze its performance and safety. They are also required to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Available
The standard prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, usually takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to finish 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 acceptable also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Homewood 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
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, depending on the state where you will be working you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites 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 purpose of licensing, but many approve other alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it could improve your career options in and around Homewood AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Classes
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 programs. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is usually performed in Homewood AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training can be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often find that the online style of education is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently more affordable than on-campus options. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. But just confirm that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
As soon as you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Homewood AL. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a material factor also. But along with cost and location, what more should you factor in when evaluating colleges? Well, you should 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 selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of radiology tech schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still important to verify that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Homewood AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the radiology technician programs you are interested in have relationships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Homewood AL medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Homewood AL in a new field can be difficult without help. Find out if the radiographer schools you are assessing 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 corroborates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Homewood AL home. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of class 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 considering 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 ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Homewood AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Homewood X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the best radiology tech degree program is an important first step toward beginning a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the greater part of the working day and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines 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. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As we have covered in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are assessing prior to making your final selection. This is equally true whether you decide on an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each college so you can focus your choices and make your final choice. And with the proper education and your commitment to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiographer in Homewood Alabama.