So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Saks AL so you can train to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have chosen to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you go about picking the ideal college and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And since most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Many prospective students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location must be taken into account, there are other important qualifications as well. For instance, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Job Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the identical fundamental job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They may work in Saks AL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may 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 routinely assess its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Available
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 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. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which many schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Saks AL or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, depending on the state where you will be employed you might have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many provide other alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might enhance your career options in and around Saks AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Degrees
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a significant amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is typically carried out in Saks AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are often cheaper than on-campus options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be reduced also. But just make sure that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiographer Programs
After you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of finding and assessing x-ray technician schools near Saks AL. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining factor also. But along with cost and location, what else should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? Most radiology tech colleges have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still crucial to confirm that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous examination of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting agencies 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 help in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Saks AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the xray technician schools you are interested in have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Saks AL health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in Saks AL in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Saks 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 local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Saks AL schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want 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 instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech school you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Saks AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Saks X-Ray Tech School
Choosing the best x-ray tech degree program is an important first step toward launching a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As we have discussed in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate 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 analyze and compare each program so you can focus your choices before making your decision. And with the right education and your motivation to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Saks Alabama.