So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Lincoln AL so you can become a radiologic technician. And now that you have decided to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you set about picking the right school and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you may need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Most students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting 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 other significant qualifiers as well. For example, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Work Summary
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical primary job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They can work in Lincoln 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 must maintain their equipment plus frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options
The primary requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, usually takes 18 months to two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to finish and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are appropriate also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Lincoln AL or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be employed you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number approve other alternatives for testing as well. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it may enhance your career options in and around Lincoln AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Classes
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So although you can still earn your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is usually performed in Lincoln AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training may be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually find that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are generally less costly than on-campus options. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be reduced as well. But just confirm that the online program you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
When you have selected the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of finding and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Lincoln AL. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material factor as well. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you consider when reviewing schools? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? The majority of radiology technician colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still crucial to verify 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 obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive review of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Lincoln AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level positions.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the xray tech colleges you are evaluating have associations with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Lincoln AL health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in Lincoln AL in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Lincoln AL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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 sort of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Lincoln AL colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech program you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Lincoln AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Lincoln X-Ray Tech Program
Enrolling in the right radiology technician college is an important first step toward initiating a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs often stand for the greater part of the working day and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As we have addressed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. This is equally true whether you decide on an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each college so you can narrow down your options before making your decision. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Lincoln Alabama.