So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Phenix City AL in order to train to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have chosen to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you go about picking the right school and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Most students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location should be taken into consideration, there are other important qualifications also. For instance, you must ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
Radiology Technician Job Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same primary job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They may practice in Phenix City AL hospitals, clinics, 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 take care of their equipment plus regularly analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Offered
The primary requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. 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 techs, generally takes 18 months to two years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more extensive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable also. Something to consider is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Phenix City AL or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many accept additional options for testing also. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it could improve your career options in and around Phenix City AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires 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 fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Classes
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is typically performed in Phenix City AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training can be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online style of education is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are often cheaper than on-campus alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be lessened as well. But just make certain that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiographer Colleges
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of looking for and assessing x-ray technician schools near Phenix City AL. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be an important variable also. But along with location and cost, what more should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor 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 programs you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? Most radiology technician schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still important to verify that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting agencies 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 evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance 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 frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Phenix City AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the xray technician schools you are interested in have partnerships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Phenix City AL healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in Phenix City AL in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Phenix City AL residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly 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 type of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Phenix City AL schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer school you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Phenix City AL area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phenix City X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the appropriate radiology technician college is a crucial first step toward launching a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the day and move and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best available patient care. As has been discussed in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are considering before making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the right training and your motivation to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiographer in Phenix City Alabama.