So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Hueytown AL in order to become a radiologic technologist. But now that you have made a decision to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you undertake choosing the right college and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled professional? And considering that most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you may need training to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you assess 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 residences. Next, they compare tuition and frequently settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location should be taken into consideration, there are additional critical qualifiers also. For example, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a radiology technician does and the degrees and training options that are available.
X-Ray Tech Job Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the same major job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They can practice in Hueytown AL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may utilize 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 analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Offered
The basic requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally requires 18 months to two years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to complete and is more expansive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may often be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Hueytown AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, based on the state where you will be working you may have to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number provide additional alternatives for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it may enhance your career options in and around Hueytown AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Programs
As a component 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 while you can still obtain your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is often performed in Hueytown AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are often less expensive than conventional options. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be lessened also. But just be sure that the online program you select 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 online classes may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiographer Programs
Once you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Hueytown AL. You will also have to determine if you want to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a material factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? Most radiology tech schools have earned 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 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 a rigorous examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. 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 premium education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Hueytown AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the radiology tech programs you are evaluating have associations with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Hueytown AL medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in Hueytown AL in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Hueytown AL home. Those who have decided 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. 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 need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Hueytown AL colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the xray tech college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Hueytown AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Hueytown X-Ray Tech Program
Picking the appropriate radiology technician degree program is an important first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the greater part of the day and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As has been covered in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can focus your choices before making your decision. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Hueytown Alabama.