So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Millbrook AL in order to become a radiology technologist. But now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about picking the right college and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified professional? And since the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you might require training to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. A number of potential students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be considered, there are other significant qualifiers also. For instance, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiology tech does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Career Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the same fundamental job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They can practice in Millbrook AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must care for their equipment and regularly assess its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degree Options
The basic requirement for enrolling in 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 technicians, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to finish and is more extensive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Millbrook AL or their region. 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 Tech Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be practicing you might have to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several approve other options for testing also. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options in and around Millbrook AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Degrees
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So while you can still obtain your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is usually carried out in Millbrook AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically find that the online style of education is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently more affordable than conventional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be reduced also. But just make sure that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
As soon as you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Millbrook AL. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a material factor also. But along with cost and location, what else should you consider when comparing schools? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? The majority of radiology technician colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still crucial to verify that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Millbrook AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level positions.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the xray technician colleges you are interested in have partnerships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Millbrook AL health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in Millbrook AL in a new field can be difficult without support. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they select will have to be within driving distance of their Millbrook AL residence. Students who have decided 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 consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Millbrook AL colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the xray tech college you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Millbrook AL area, confirm 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, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Best Millbrook X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the right radiology technician college is a crucial first step toward launching a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the working day and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As we have covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are considering before making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the proper education and your dedication to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiographer in Millbrook Alabama.