So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Pelham AL in order to learn to be a radiology technician. But now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle choosing the right college and program so that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And since most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you might require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. A number of 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 expense and location must be considered, there are other important qualifications as well. For instance, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and training options that are available.
Radiology Technician Occupation Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical primary job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They can work in Pelham AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician 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 and also routinely evaluate its performance and safety. They are also required to retain 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 standard requirement for attending an x-ray tech program is to have attained 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, usually requires 18 months to two years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to finish and is more expansive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Pelham AL or their area. 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 working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be practicing you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so check with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number accept other alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase your career options in and around Pelham AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Degrees
As a component of any 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 schools. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is typically performed in Pelham AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually find that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are frequently more affordable than conventional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. But just be 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 degree may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
After you have chosen the type of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of finding and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Pelham 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 of course the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a material factor also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you factor in when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of radiology tech colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still important to confirm that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed review of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Pelham AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the radiology tech programs you are interested in have partnerships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Pelham AL medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in Pelham AL in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Pelham AL home. Individuals 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. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps 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 commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Pelham AL colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on 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.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech college you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Pelham AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Pelham X-Ray Tech Training
Picking the ideal x-ray tech degree program is an important first step toward starting a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the greater part of the working day and move and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict 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 radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As has been discussed in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are looking at prior to making your final decision. This is equally true whether you opt for an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the proper training and your motivation to be successful, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiographer in Pelham Alabama.