So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Princeton AL in order to train to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have decided to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you go about choosing the right school and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And because the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might require preparation to pass a licensing test. 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 start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be considered, there are additional significant qualifications also. For example, you need to find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Occupation Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical principal job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They can practice in Princeton AL hospitals, clinics, family 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 have to take care of their equipment plus routinely analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees Available
The primary requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are appropriate as well. Something to consider is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may often be satisfied by participating in an internship program which many schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Princeton AL or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, based on the state where you will be practicing you may need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several approve other alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it could improve your career options in and around Princeton AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Colleges
As a part 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 obtain your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often carried out in Princeton AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online style of learning is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently less costly than on-campus alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be lessened also. But just be sure that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages 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 best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
After you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Princeton AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material factor as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you factor in when evaluating schools? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? The majority of xray technician schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still important to make sure that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies 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 an extensive assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting agencies 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 securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Princeton AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level openings.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the radiology technician programs you are assessing have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Princeton AL medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in Princeton AL in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial 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 many students, the college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Princeton AL residence. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern 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 decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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 are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Princeton AL colleges 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the radiographer program you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Princeton AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Princeton X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the best x-ray tech college is a crucial first step toward launching a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the day and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are looking at before making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you decide on an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can narrow down your options and make your decision. And with the right education and your motivation to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiographer in Princeton Alabama.