So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Jacksonville AL in order to become a radiology technician. And now that you have made a decision to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you go about picking the right school and program so that you will get the proper training to become a qualified professional? And because the majority of states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Most students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into account, there are additional critical qualifiers also. For instance, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and training options that are available.
Radiology Technician Work Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the identical major job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They can practice in Jacksonville AL clinics, hospitals, family 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 and frequently analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally 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 Tech Degrees Offered
The standard requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, generally 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 finish and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate as well. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Jacksonville AL or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must 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 x-ray technician school, depending on the state where you will be employed you may need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so check with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number offer additional options for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it might increase your career options in and around Jacksonville AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Schools
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 schools. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is often carried out in Jacksonville AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less costly than traditional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be lessened as well. But just make certain that the online college you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of searching for and assessing x-ray tech schools near Jacksonville AL. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a determining variable also. But along with location and cost, what more should you consider when reviewing schools? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray 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. 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also help in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Jacksonville AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the xray technician schools you are evaluating have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Jacksonville AL medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Jacksonville 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 placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will have to be within driving distance of their Jacksonville AL home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need 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 don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Jacksonville AL colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the xray tech college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Jacksonville AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Right Jacksonville X-Ray Tech Program
Enrolling in the ideal x-ray technician degree program is an important first step toward starting a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the greater part of the working day and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As we have covered in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are assessing before making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you opt for an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each school so you can narrow down your options before making your decision. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiographer in Jacksonville Alabama.