So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Meadowbrook AL so you can become a radiology technician. But now that you have chosen to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you set about picking the ideal college and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And because the majority of states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you may require training to pass a licensing exam. So it's important that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Most students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and frequently gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into consideration, there are additional important qualifications also. For example, you must ask if 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 radiology tech does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Job Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same major job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They can practice in Meadowbrook AL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may 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 regularly assess its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees
The basic prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, normally requires 18 months to two years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish and is more expansive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are acceptable also. Something to consider is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can often be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Meadowbrook AL or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, depending on the state where you will be working you may need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several offer other options for testing also. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options in and around Meadowbrook AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Colleges
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So although you can still earn your online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is usually performed in Meadowbrook AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training may be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online schools are generally less expensive than on-campus options. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be decreased as well. But just be sure that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Radiographer Programs
As soon as you have selected the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Meadowbrook AL. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and secondary expenses will be a material factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray tech schools have earned some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still important to confirm that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged 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 securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Meadowbrook AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the radiology technician schools you are assessing have associations with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Meadowbrook AL health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in Meadowbrook AL in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Meadowbrook AL residence. Those who have decided to attend classes online 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 choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Meadowbrook AL schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student 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 a few of the instructors and students 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 college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Meadowbrook AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Meadowbrook X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the right x-ray tech school is a crucial first step toward launching a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the workday and position and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects 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. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As has been addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are reviewing before making your final selection. This is just as true whether you participate in an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can focus your options before making your decision. And with the proper education and your motivation to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Meadowbrook Alabama.