So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Pike Road AL in order to become a radiologic technologist. But now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you go about selecting the right college and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And considering that the majority of states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Many students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost should be considered, there are additional significant qualifiers as well. 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 provided later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Work Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the same primary job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They may work in Pike Road AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might work with 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 also required to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Available
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are appropriate also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Pike Road AL or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, based on the state where you will be working you might need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria 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 purpose of licensing, but a number approve other options for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it may increase your career options in and around Pike Road AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous 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 X-Ray Technician Programs
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 the same for online degree programs. So while you can still earn your online degree, a large amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is typically carried out in Pike Road AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online approach to education is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are often more affordable than traditional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be lessened as well. But just make sure that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
When you have selected the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of finding and assessing x-ray technician schools near Pike Road AL. You will also need to decide if you want to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a material variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you consider when reviewing schools? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of radiology tech schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still crucial 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). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive assessment of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it may also earn 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. In addition to ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Pike Road AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the radiology tech colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Pike Road AL healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Pike Road AL in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the radiographer programs you are reviewing 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 good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Pike Road AL home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Pike Road AL schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the radiographer program you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Pike Road AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative 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 illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Right Pike Road X-Ray Tech Program
Enrolling in the ideal radiology tech college is an important first step toward initiating a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the working day and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As we have addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are looking at before making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you decide on an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the right education and your commitment to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Pike Road Alabama.