So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Hueytown AL in order to train to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake choosing the ideal college and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And since most states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Many potential students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost should be taken into account, there are other critical qualifications also. For example, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and education options that are offered.
Radiology Technician Job Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the same principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They can practice in Hueytown AL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist 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 maintain their equipment and also routinely assess its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain detailed 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 Available
The primary requirement for attending an x-ray tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, usually takes 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are appropriate also. Something to consider is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Hueytown AL or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, based on the state where you will be employed you might need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many accept additional options for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it might improve your career options in and around Hueytown AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Degrees
As a part 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 although you can still earn your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often conducted in Hueytown AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training may be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online schools are generally less costly than conventional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be lessened also. But just confirm that the online program you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
When you have chosen the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Hueytown AL. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a material factor as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you factor in when comparing colleges? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? A large number of radiology tech schools have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still crucial to make sure that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies 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 an extensive assessment of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it might also obtain 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 guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Hueytown AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the xray tech colleges you are assessing have partnerships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Hueytown AL medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in Hueytown AL in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the radiographer programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication 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 School Located? For many students, the college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Hueytown AL home. Those who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Hueytown AL schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the xray tech school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Hueytown AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Right Hueytown X-Ray Tech Training
Picking the appropriate radiology tech college is a critical first step toward starting a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the greater part of the day and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology 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 good work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As has been discussed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are looking at prior to making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the right training and your commitment to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Hueytown Alabama.