So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Saks AL in order to learn to be a radiology technician. But now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you undertake selecting the right school and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you might need training to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Most prospective students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and frequently settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location must be taken into consideration, there are additional critical qualifiers also. For example, you need to find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
Radiology Tech Work Summary
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the same principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They may work in Saks AL clinics, hospitals, private 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 must take care of their equipment and also frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also required to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees Available
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have received 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 prevalent among technicians, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to finish and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are acceptable also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Saks AL or their area. 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 practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, depending on the state where you will be employed you may need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so check with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many approve additional alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options in and around Saks AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive 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 Technologist Degrees
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree programs. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a significant amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school 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. But the online section of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree often find that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online schools are generally less costly than conventional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be lessened as well. But just make sure that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiographer Schools
Once you have selected the type of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Saks AL. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be an important variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you look at when evaluating colleges? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? Most xray tech schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still crucial 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). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive review of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Saks AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the xray technician programs you are interested in have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Saks AL health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in Saks AL in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the radiographer programs you are considering have job assistance 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 corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Saks AL home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble 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 decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size 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 probably want a smaller 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 monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Saks AL area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Saks X-Ray Tech School
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 ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs typically stand for the greater part of the day and position and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As has been discussed in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are assessing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each school so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a radiographer in Saks Alabama.