So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Princeton AL in order to become a radiologic technologist. And now that you have decided to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you undertake picking the right college and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And because the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you might need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Many potential students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be considered, there are additional important qualifiers also. For instance, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions 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 radiologic tech does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Career Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical major job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to work as generalists, while others may choose 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 might utilize 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 and regularly evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees
The standard requirement for attending an x-ray tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, usually takes 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are acceptable as well. Something to consider is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can often be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which many schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Princeton AL or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, depending on the state where you will be working you may need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several offer additional alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may enhance your career options in and around Princeton AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Degrees
As a part 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 schools. So although you can still earn your degree online, a large portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is typically conducted in Princeton AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually find that the online approach to education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online schools are often cheaper than on-campus alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be decreased as well. But just confirm that the online program you select is accredited (more on the benefits 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 right option for you.
What to Ask Radiographer Schools
After you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Princeton AL. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important variable as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you consider when evaluating schools? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of xray technician schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still imperative 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 earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Princeton AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the xray tech colleges you are reviewing have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Princeton AL healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that initial job in Princeton AL in a new profession can be challenging without support. Ask if the radiographer schools you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and great 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 college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Princeton AL home. 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 concern. Something 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Princeton AL colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the xray tech school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Princeton AL area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Princeton X-Ray Tech School
Picking the best x-ray technician degree program is a crucial first step toward launching a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As has been covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are considering before making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each college so you can focus your options before making your decision. And with the appropriate education and your motivation to succeed, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiographer in Princeton Alabama.