So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Midfield AL in order to train to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you set about choosing the ideal school and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified professional? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you might require training to pass a licensing exam. So it's important that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Most potential students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and frequently settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be considered, there are other significant qualifiers as well. For instance, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and training options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Job Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical major job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They may work in Midfield AL clinics, hospitals, 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 take care of their equipment and also regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees Offered
The standard requirement for attending an x-ray tech program is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete 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 nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are acceptable also. Something to consider is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Midfield AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, depending on the state where you will be employed you may have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number approve additional alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options in and around Midfield AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Schools
As a component of every 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 programs. So although you can still earn your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is often conducted in Midfield AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to education is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are frequently less costly than on-campus options. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be reduced also. But just be sure that the online school you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
When you have selected the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Midfield AL. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you consider when reviewing schools? Well, you should check out 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 decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? Most xray technician schools have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still important to make sure that the school and program 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 undergone an extensive examination of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Midfield AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the xray technician programs you are evaluating have relationships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Midfield AL health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Midfield AL in a new field can be difficult without support. Find out if the radiographer schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Midfield AL residence. Individuals who have chosen 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 concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Midfield AL colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer program you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Midfield AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Right Midfield X-Ray Tech Training
Selecting the best x-ray technician degree program is an important first step toward launching a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the majority of the working day and move and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As has been covered in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are considering prior to making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the right training and your dedication to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Midfield Alabama.