So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Pike Road AL in order to learn to be a radiology technician. But now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you undertake selecting the ideal school and program so that you will get the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you might require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Most potential students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location must be taken into consideration, there are other significant qualifiers as well. For instance, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Career Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the identical principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They can work in Pike Road AL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must care for their equipment and frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Available
The primary requirement for attending an x-ray tech college is to have received 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 techs, generally requires 18 months to two years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to complete and is more expansive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Pike Road AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be employed you may have to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so check with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several approve other options for testing also. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could improve your career options in and around Pike Road AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Colleges
As a part 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 degree online, a significant amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is usually conducted in Pike Road AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically find that the online approach to education is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are generally more affordable than conventional options. Along with lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be lessened as well. But just make certain that the online program you enroll in 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 school may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiographer Schools
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Pike Road AL. You will also need to determine if you want to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a determining variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? Most xray technician colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still important to verify that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed review of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Pike Road AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the radiology technician schools you are reviewing have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Pike Road AL medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in Pike Road AL in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Pike Road AL residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Pike Road AL schools you are considering 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the xray tech program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Pike Road AL area, make sure 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 carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Pike Road X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the right radiology technician degree program is an important first step toward launching a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and provide the best available patient care. As has been discussed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are considering prior to making your final selection. This is just as true whether you opt for an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each program so you can focus your choices before making your final choice. And with the right education and your dedication to succeed, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiographer in Pike Road Alabama.