So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Monroeville AL in order to learn to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about selecting the right school and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And because the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Most students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and often settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into consideration, there are additional significant qualifiers as well. For instance, you should ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same primary job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They may work in Monroeville AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might utilize 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 routinely assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees Offered
The standard requirement for attending an x-ray tech college is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, usually requires 18 months to two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are appropriate also. One thing to consider is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Monroeville AL or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be employed you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many provide other alternatives for testing also. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it may improve your career options in and around Monroeville AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Programs
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So although you can still earn your degree online, a large portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is often provided in Monroeville AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree often find that the online approach to education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online schools are often more affordable than traditional options. Along with lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be reduced as well. But just be sure that the online program you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Monroeville AL. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a material factor also. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you factor in when reviewing colleges? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still important to confirm that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Monroeville AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the xray tech schools you are interested in have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Monroeville AL medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that initial job in Monroeville AL in a new field can be challenging without help. Find out if the radiographer schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Monroeville AL residence. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area 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 even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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 Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Monroeville AL colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student 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 a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the radiographer college you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Monroeville AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Monroeville X-Ray Tech School
Selecting the best x-ray technician college is a crucial first step toward launching a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians 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 good work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As has been addressed in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. This is equally true whether you participate in an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the proper training and your dedication to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Monroeville Alabama.