So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Midfield AL so you can become a radiology technician. And now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about picking the right school and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And considering that most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Many prospective students start by searching for technical schools or colleges 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 should be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifications also. For example, you should find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and education options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Work Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the same fundamental job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They may work in Midfield AL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech 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 also expected to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees
The basic prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech college is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, usually requires 18 months to two years to complete depending on 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 opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to consider is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Midfield AL or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, based on the state where you will be employed you might need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several approve additional options for testing also. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options in and around Midfield AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Colleges
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is usually conducted in Midfield AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically discover that the online style of education is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are frequently more affordable than on-campus options. Along with lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just make sure that the online school you pick 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 online classes may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
When you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of looking for and assessing x-ray technician schools near Midfield AL. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a determining factor also. But along with cost and location, what else should you consider when comparing colleges? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still important to make sure 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed review of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Midfield AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the radiology technician colleges you are assessing have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Midfield AL healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in Midfield AL in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Midfield AL home. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear 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 normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Midfield AL colleges 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the radiographer college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Midfield AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Midfield X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the best radiology technician school is a crucial first step toward launching a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist 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 get the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to 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 doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As has been covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are reviewing before making your final selection. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each college so you can narrow down your options before making your decision. And with the right training and your commitment to be successful, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiographer in Midfield Alabama.