So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Meadowbrook AL so you can train to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you undertake picking the ideal college and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you might require training to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. A number of prospective students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost must be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifiers as well. For instance, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Job Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the identical principal job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They can practice in Meadowbrook AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to take care of their equipment and also regularly evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also required to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees Available
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, normally takes 18 months to two years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more extensive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to consider is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Meadowbrook AL or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be working you may need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch 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 approve other options for testing also. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might improve your career options in and around Meadowbrook AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Classes
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So while you can still earn your degree online, a large portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is often provided in Meadowbrook AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often find that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are often more affordable than conventional options. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be reduced also. But just be sure that the online college you pick 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 online classes may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiographer Colleges
Once you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Meadowbrook AL. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you factor in when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? The majority of xray tech schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still crucial 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Meadowbrook AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level openings.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the xray technician programs you are evaluating have relationships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Meadowbrook AL health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in Meadowbrook AL in a new field can be difficult without help. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Meadowbrook AL home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local 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 often 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.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Meadowbrook AL schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student 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 some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the xray tech school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Meadowbrook AL area, verify 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 as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Meadowbrook X-Ray Tech School
Selecting the ideal radiology tech degree program is an important first step toward starting a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the greater part of the day and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs 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 good work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As has been covered in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are looking at before making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you decide on an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each college so you can focus your choices and make your decision. And with the right training and your dedication to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Meadowbrook Alabama.