So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Pike Road AL in order to become a radiologic technician. But now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you tackle selecting the right school and program so that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And since the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you might need training to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Most prospective students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be taken into account, there are other significant qualifiers also. For instance, you must find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Job Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the identical primary job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They can practice in Pike Road AL clinics, hospitals, private 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 regularly evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Available
The basic prerequisite for attending 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 Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, generally takes 18 months to two years to finish 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. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate also. One thing to consider is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may often be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Pike Road AL or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, based on the state where you will be working you might need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so get in touch with 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 many provide other options for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it might increase your career options in and around Pike Road AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Schools
As a component of every 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 even though you can still earn your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is typically performed in Pike Road AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training may be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online approach to education is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are often less costly than on-campus options. Along with reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just be sure that the online program you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
When you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of searching for and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Pike Road AL. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining variable as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you consider when comparing colleges? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to make sure that the school and program 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). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Pike Road AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the xray tech schools you are interested in have relationships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Pike Road AL health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in Pike Road AL in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the radiographer programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they select will need to be within driving distance of their Pike Road AL home. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind 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 often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Pike Road AL colleges you are looking at what the typical 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 talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the xray tech program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. 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 enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Pike Road X-Ray Tech School
Choosing the ideal x-ray technician college is a crucial first step toward launching a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the greater part of the workday and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As has been addressed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are assessing before making your final selection. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the right training and your dedication to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Pike Road Alabama.