So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Mobile AL in order to become a radiologic technologist. But now that you have made a decision to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you go about picking the right school and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you may require preparation 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 compare each program. Many prospective students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into account, there are other critical qualifiers also. For instance, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiology technician does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Tech Career Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same fundamental job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They may work in Mobile AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment and routinely evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also required to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees
The primary prerequisite for attending a radiology tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, normally takes 18 months to two 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 comprehensive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related 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 may frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Mobile AL or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, depending on the state where you will be working you may need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch 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 many accept additional alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it could enhance your career options in and around Mobile AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Classes
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is usually carried out in Mobile AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree often find that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are frequently less costly than traditional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be decreased also. But just be sure that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
When you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Mobile AL. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important factor as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when comparing schools? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? A large number of xray tech schools have earned some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still crucial to make sure that the school and program 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 obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed 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 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. In addition to guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Mobile AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the radiology technician programs you are reviewing have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Mobile AL health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in Mobile AL in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Mobile AL home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern 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 decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Mobile AL colleges you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the radiographer school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Mobile 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 need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Mobile X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the appropriate x-ray technician school is an important first step toward initiating a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the greater part of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As has been covered in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are assessing before making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the proper training and your commitment to be successful, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Mobile Alabama.