So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Jasper AL in order to learn to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you set about selecting the ideal school and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled professional? And considering that the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Most students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location should be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifications as well. For instance, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Work Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the same fundamental job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose 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 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 maintain their equipment plus regularly analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to retain complete 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
The standard requirement for attending an x-ray tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to complete and is more extensive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are acceptable also. One thing to consider is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Jasper AL or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be employed you might need to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several offer other alternatives for testing also. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it could improve your career options in and around Jasper AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Programs
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So although you can still earn your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is typically provided in Jasper AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online schools are often less expensive than on-campus options. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be lessened as well. But just confirm that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
When you have chosen the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of locating and assessing x-ray technician schools near Jasper AL. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining variable as well. But along with location and cost, what more should you consider when comparing colleges? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these important details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? The majority of radiology tech schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still imperative to verify 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 gone through a detailed evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Jasper AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the xray technician schools you are interested in have relationships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional connections in the Jasper AL medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Jasper AL in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Jasper AL home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Jasper AL colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Jasper AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Jasper X-Ray Tech School
Picking the appropriate radiology tech school is a critical first step toward initiating a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best available patient care. As we have discussed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are assessing before making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each college so you can focus your options and make your final choice. And with the proper education and your commitment to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiographer in Jasper Alabama.