So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Saks AL so you can train to be a radiology technician. But now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you go about selecting the ideal college and program so that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And because the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you may need training to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. A number of potential students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifiers as well. For instance, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and education options that are available.
X-Ray Tech Career Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the same fundamental job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They may work in Saks AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to maintain their equipment and routinely assess its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available
The primary requirement for enrolling in a radiology 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 prevalent among technicians, usually takes 18 months to two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish and is more expansive 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 programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may often be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges 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 certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be practicing you may have to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so contact 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 provide additional alternatives for testing as well. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it might increase your career options in and around Saks AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Programs
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree colleges. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is usually provided in Saks AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals 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 usually discover that the online style of education is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are often less expensive than conventional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be decreased as well. But just be sure that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
Once you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of finding and assessing x-ray technician schools near Saks AL. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important variable also. But along with location and cost, what else should you factor in when comparing colleges? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? Most radiology technician colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still important to verify 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 a rigorous evaluation of their teachers 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 learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Saks AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the xray technician schools you are reviewing have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Saks AL medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in Saks AL in a new field can be challenging without support. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success 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 substantiates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Saks AL residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind 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 frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Saks AL schools you are researching 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 final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Saks AL area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Right Saks X-Ray Tech Program
Enrolling in the best radiology technician college is a critical first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the working day and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As we have discussed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate 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 accomplish your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Saks Alabama.