So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Opp AL so you can train to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about picking the right school and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified professional? And because most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you may require training to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. A number of potential students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost must be taken into account, there are additional critical qualifiers also. For example, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and training options that are available.
X-Ray Tech Career Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the same primary job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They may practice in Opp 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 have to maintain their equipment plus frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also required to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degree Options
The primary prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, generally requires 18 months to two years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to complete and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be appropriate as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can often be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Opp AL or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, based on the state where you will be practicing you might need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number offer additional alternatives for testing also. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could increase your career options in and around Opp AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Programs
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a significant amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is usually performed in Opp AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically discover that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are often cheaper than traditional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be reduced as well. But just be sure that the online school you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
When you have decided on the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of finding and assessing x-ray technician schools near Opp AL. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of radiology tech colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still crucial to confirm that the school and program 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 an extensive review of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Opp AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level positions.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the radiology tech programs you are interested in have partnerships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Opp AL medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in Opp AL in a new field can be challenging without support. Ask if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their placement 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 substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Opp AL home. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Opp AL colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Opp 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 carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Best Opp X-Ray Tech School
Picking the appropriate x-ray technician school is an important first step toward beginning 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 day and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As we have addressed in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing before making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can narrow down your options and make your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your motivation to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Opp Alabama.