So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Jasper AL so you can train to be a radiology technician. And now that you have made a decision to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you undertake picking the right college and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And because the majority of states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you may need training to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Many 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 most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be considered, there are additional critical qualifications as well. For example, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Occupation 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, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the same fundamental job function, which is to use 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. Many elect to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They may practice in Jasper AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must care for their equipment plus frequently analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees
The basic requirement for attending an x-ray tech college is to have attained 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 typical among techs, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to finish and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are 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 can typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which a large number of colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Jasper AL or their region. After 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.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ 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 exam for the licensing application, but several provide additional options for testing as well. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it might increase your career options in and around Jasper AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Colleges
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So while you can still obtain your degree online, a large portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is usually carried out in Jasper AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree often discover that the online style of education is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are generally less expensive than on-campus alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be decreased as well. But just make 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 structured style of training, then an online degree may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
Once 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 Jasper AL. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you factor in when evaluating schools? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of radiology technician schools have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still crucial to confirm that the program and school 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). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive examination of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Jasper AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the radiology tech programs you are evaluating have relationships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Jasper AL health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that initial job in Jasper AL in a new field can be difficult without help. Find out if the radiographer schools you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable 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 college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Jasper AL residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back 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 Jasper AL colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. 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 instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer college you ultimately select 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 evening or weekend classes in the Jasper AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours 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 Jasper X-Ray Tech School
Picking the appropriate x-ray tech degree program is a crucial first step toward beginning a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the day and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As has been discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the appropriate training and your dedication to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Jasper Alabama.