So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Midfield AL so you can learn to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have decided to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you undertake choosing the ideal school and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And because most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice 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 considering so that you can compare each program. Most prospective students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location must be taken into consideration, there are additional important qualifiers also. For instance, you must ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and education options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Career Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the same primary job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They can work in Midfield AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might 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 plus frequently assess its performance 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 attending a radiology tech program is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, 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 opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are acceptable as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Midfield AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist college, depending on the state where you will be employed you might have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number accept additional alternatives for testing also. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could 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 rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Schools
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree programs. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is typically carried out in Midfield AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online style of education is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are generally cheaper than conventional options. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be reduced as well. But just confirm that the online college you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
As soon as you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of finding and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Midfield AL. You will also need to decide if you want to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a determining variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray tech schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still imperative to confirm that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed review of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged 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 acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Midfield AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the xray tech schools you are reviewing have associations with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Midfield AL medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Midfield AL in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Midfield AL residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously 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 choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need 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.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Midfield AL schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the xray tech college you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Midfield AL area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Right Midfield X-Ray Tech Program
Enrolling in the appropriate radiology tech school is a crucial first step toward initiating a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict 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 technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As has been covered in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are looking at before making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can narrow down your options and make your decision. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Midfield Alabama.