So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Saks AL in order to become a radiology technologist. But now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you set about picking the right college and program so that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And because most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you may need training to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. A number of potential students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location need to be considered, there are other critical qualifications also. For example, you must ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this post. But first, let's explore what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and training options that are available.
X-Ray Tech Career Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the identical principal job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They may practice in Saks AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to care for their equipment plus regularly evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options
The standard prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, generally takes 18 months to two 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 expansive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate as well. Something to consider is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Saks AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist college, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number offer additional alternatives for testing also. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it could increase your career options in and around Saks AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Colleges
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So while you can still earn your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is often performed in Saks AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are often less costly than conventional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be lessened as well. But just make sure that the online college you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
As soon as you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of finding and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Saks AL. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still crucial to verify that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected 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 an extensive assessment of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it might 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. Besides ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Saks AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the radiology tech colleges you are evaluating have relationships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Saks AL medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in Saks AL in a new profession can be challenging without help. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid 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 highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Saks AL home. Those 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 concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Saks AL schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the xray tech program you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Saks AL area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Right Saks X-Ray Tech School
Selecting the ideal x-ray technician college is an important first step toward beginning a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the working day and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As we have discussed in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are looking at before making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can focus your choices and make your final choice. And with the proper education and your dedication to succeed, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Saks Alabama.