So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Millbrook AL in order to train to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you go about picking the right school and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified professional? And because the majority of states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you may require training to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. A number of potential students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be considered, there are other significant qualifications as well. For example, you must ask whether or not 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 article. But first, let's explore what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and training options that are available.
X-Ray Tech Career Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the same major job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They can work in Millbrook AL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to maintain their equipment and also frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain complete 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 Available
The primary prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to finish and is more expansive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Millbrook AL or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be practicing you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so check with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number provide additional alternatives for testing as well. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it may improve your career options in and around Millbrook AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Programs
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a considerable amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is usually carried out in Millbrook AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually discover that the online style of learning is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are frequently more affordable than on-campus options. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be decreased also. But just make sure that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
As soon as you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Millbrook AL. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you look at when comparing schools? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? Most xray technician schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still crucial to make sure 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). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed review of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Millbrook AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the radiology technician programs you are evaluating have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional connections in the Millbrook AL health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in Millbrook AL in a new profession can be challenging without help. Find out if the radiographer programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Millbrook AL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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 are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Millbrook AL colleges you are looking at 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 a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Millbrook AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Millbrook X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the right x-ray tech degree program is a critical first step toward initiating a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the workday and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are considering before making your final selection. This is equally true whether you participate in an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each program so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the proper training and your dedication to succeed, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Millbrook Alabama.