So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Hueytown AL in order to train to be a radiology technician. And now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you go about selecting the ideal school and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And considering that most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Many students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location should be taken into consideration, there are additional significant qualifications also. For example, 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 examining are provided later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiology tech does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Job Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the identical fundamental job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They may practice in Hueytown AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment and routinely evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also expected 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.
Radiology Tech Degrees Available
The primary prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, normally takes 18 months to two years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Hueytown AL or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be practicing you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number provide additional options for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers prefer to hire 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 calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Degrees
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So although you can still earn your online degree, a significant amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is often performed in Hueytown AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree often find that the online approach to education is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online schools are frequently less costly than traditional options. Along with lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be decreased also. But just be sure that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiographer Colleges
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Hueytown AL. You will also need to decide if you want to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a determining factor as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you consider when comparing schools? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to make sure that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Hueytown AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the xray technician schools you are evaluating have associations with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Hueytown AL health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in Hueytown AL in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Hueytown AL home. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Hueytown AL schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Hueytown AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Hueytown X-Ray Tech Program
Picking the ideal x-ray technician school is a critical first step toward initiating a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the greater part of the working day and position and sometimes 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 requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available patient care. As has been covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can focus your options before making your decision. And with the appropriate training and your motivation to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Hueytown Alabama.