So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Princeton AL in order to learn to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you set about choosing the ideal college and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And since most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Many students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools 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 considered, there are other important qualifications as well. For example, you should ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Tech Work Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the identical major job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They can work in Princeton AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might work with 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 also regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Available
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils 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 takes 18 months to two years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are appropriate as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical 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 clinics and hospitals in Princeton AL or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number accept additional alternatives for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options in and around Princeton AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Colleges
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So although you can still earn your online degree, a large portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is usually carried out in Princeton AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals 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 obtaining their degree often find that the online style of learning is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online schools are generally less costly than conventional options. Along with reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be reduced as well. But just be sure that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
After you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of locating and assessing x-ray technician schools near Princeton AL. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or drive 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 supplementary expenses will be a material variable as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you look at when comparing schools? Well, you should find out if the schools 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 compiled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? The majority of xray tech schools have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still crucial to make sure 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 an extensive assessment of their teachers 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 education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Princeton AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the xray tech schools you are interested in have associations with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Princeton AL medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in Princeton AL in a new field can be difficult without support. Ask if the radiographer schools you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Princeton AL home. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously 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 perhaps 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 live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Princeton AL colleges you are looking at 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 final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the xray tech college you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Princeton AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Princeton X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the appropriate x-ray tech degree program is a crucial first step toward starting a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the greater part of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians 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 productive work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As has been covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are looking at before making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can narrow down your options and make your decision. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Princeton Alabama.