So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Princeton AL in order to learn to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have chosen to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you undertake selecting the ideal college and program so that you will get the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you might need training to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Most potential students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and often gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location must be considered, there are other critical qualifications also. For example, you need to ask if 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 post. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and training choices that are available.
Radiology Tech Job Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the same fundamental job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They can work in Princeton 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 maintain their equipment plus frequently analyze its performance and safety. They are also required to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available
The basic prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which many schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Princeton AL or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be working you may have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number offer additional options for testing also. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it might enhance your career options in and around Princeton AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Degrees
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree programs. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is typically conducted in Princeton AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training can be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree often discover that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are often less costly than conventional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be reduced also. But just be sure that the online program you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
As soon as you have selected the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Princeton AL. You will also have to determine if you want to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? Most xray tech schools have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still important to confirm 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Princeton AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the xray tech programs you are reviewing have relationships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Princeton AL medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in Princeton AL in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Princeton AL residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Princeton AL schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. 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 talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Princeton AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Princeton X-Ray Tech School
Selecting the ideal x-ray tech degree program is a critical first step toward launching a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs often stand for the greater part of the working day and move and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects 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. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As has been discussed in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you participate in an online school or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the right training and your commitment to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Princeton Alabama.