So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Lincoln AL so you can learn to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you go about picking the ideal college and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And because the majority of states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Most prospective students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location must be taken into consideration, there are additional critical qualifiers also. For instance, you should find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries 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 radiology tech does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the identical principal job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They can work in Lincoln 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 take care of their equipment and also regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degree Options
The standard requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate as well. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Lincoln AL or their region. After you have graduated from any 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 Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be employed you may need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number accept other alternatives for testing as well. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may improve your career options in and around Lincoln 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 2 years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Programs
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So although you can still earn your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is usually conducted in Lincoln AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training may be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually find that the online style of education is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are often less costly than traditional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. But just confirm that the online program you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
After you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Lincoln AL. You will also need to decide if you want to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a material variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you factor in when evaluating schools? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? Most radiology tech schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to confirm 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). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed examination of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid 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 many Lincoln AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the xray tech programs you are interested in have relationships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Lincoln AL medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in Lincoln AL in a new profession can be difficult without support. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Lincoln AL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously 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 for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Lincoln AL colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the xray tech program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Lincoln AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Lincoln X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the best x-ray tech college is an important first step toward initiating a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs often stand for the greater part of the day and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available patient care. As we have covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are reviewing before making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can focus your options and make your final choice. And with the right training and your dedication to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Lincoln Alabama.