So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Mobile AL in order to learn to be a radiology technician. And now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you tackle picking the right college and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified professional? And since the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may need training to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Many potential students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be taken into consideration, there are additional critical qualifications also. For instance, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this post. But first, let's explore what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Technician Work Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the same fundamental job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They can work in Mobile AL hospitals, clinics, family 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 take care of their equipment plus routinely assess its functionality 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.
X-Ray Tech Degrees
The basic requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, normally requires 18 months to two years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to finish and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can often be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Mobile AL or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, based on the state where you will be employed you might need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several approve additional alternatives for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options in and around Mobile AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Schools
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree programs. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is typically provided in Mobile AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training may be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually find that the online approach to education is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently cheaper than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be decreased as well. But just make sure that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiographer Colleges
As soon as you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Mobile AL. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important variable also. But along with location and cost, what else should you look at when evaluating schools? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship 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 schools you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? Most xray technician colleges have earned some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still imperative to verify that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. 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 school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the xray technician colleges you are reviewing have relationships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Mobile AL medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in Mobile AL in a new field can be challenging without support. Ask if the radiographer programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Mobile AL residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Mobile AL schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the xray tech college you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Mobile AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option 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.
Enroll in the Best Mobile X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the appropriate x-ray tech school is a crucial first step toward launching a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the working day and move and sometimes 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 medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians 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 available patient care. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are looking at prior to making your final decision. This is equally true whether you opt for an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each school so you can narrow down your options and make your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a radiographer in Mobile Alabama.