So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Saks AL so you can become a radiologic technician. And now that you have decided to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake picking the right school and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And since most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. A number of potential students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and frequently gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into consideration, there are other important qualifiers as well. For instance, you must ask if 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 examining are presented later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Tech Work Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the same 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 administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, 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 may work with 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 routinely assess its performance and safety. They are also required to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Available
The basic prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, normally requires 18 months to two years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may often be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Saks AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be working you might need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number provide additional alternatives for testing also. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options in and around Saks AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Colleges
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is usually carried out in Saks AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically find that the online style of learning is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are often more affordable than conventional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be reduced as well. But just make certain that the online program you choose 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 online classes may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
Once you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of searching for and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Saks AL. You will also have to determine if you want to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a determining factor as well. But along with location and cost, what more should you factor in when comparing colleges? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these important details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? The majority of xray tech schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still crucial to make sure that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Saks AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the xray tech programs you are interested in have partnerships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Saks AL medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in Saks AL in a new profession can be difficult without help. Ask if the radiographer schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Saks AL home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online 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 bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Saks AL colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Saks AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Saks X-Ray Tech Program
Enrolling in the right radiology tech school is a critical first step toward starting a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians 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 pleasant work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As has been discussed in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the right training and your dedication to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Saks Alabama.