So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Pinson AL in order to train to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have made a decision to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle selecting the ideal college and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And since the majority of states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you may require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Many students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into consideration, there are other critical qualifiers as well. For example, you should ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and education choices that are available.
Radiology Tech Career Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the same major job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They may work in Pinson AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist 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 plus frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Offered
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, usually requires 18 months to two years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Pinson AL or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be working you may need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so check with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number approve other options for testing also. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options in and around Pinson AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Colleges
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is usually provided in Pinson AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often find that the online style of education is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less costly than on-campus alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be reduced also. But just confirm that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
As soon as you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of finding and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Pinson AL. You will also need to determine if you want to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a material factor also. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you factor in when evaluating schools? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray technician colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still important to make sure 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). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed review of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Pinson AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the radiology technician colleges you are assessing have associations with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Pinson AL health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in Pinson AL in a new profession can be challenging without help. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are assessing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Pinson AL home. Students who have decided 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 importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Pinson AL colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the xray tech college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Pinson AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Pinson X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the ideal x-ray technician college is a critical first step toward starting a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the majority of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As has been discussed in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are considering before making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each college so you can focus your options before making your decision. And with the appropriate training and your motivation to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Pinson Alabama.