So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Saraland AL in order to learn to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle choosing the right school and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And considering that the majority of states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may need training to pass a licensing examination. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Most prospective students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location must be considered, there are additional important qualifications also. For example, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
Radiology Tech Career Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the identical major job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They can work in Saraland AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician 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 regularly assess its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options
The standard prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to finish and is more expansive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Saraland AL or their region. After you have graduated from any 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.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an Radiologist program, based on the state where you will be practicing you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several provide additional options for testing also. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may enhance your career options in and around Saraland AL to become certified. 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 two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Degrees
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So although you can still earn your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is typically performed in Saraland AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training can be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are generally more affordable than traditional options. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be decreased as well. But just make sure that the online school you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
When you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Saraland AL. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these important details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? The majority of radiology tech colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still important to confirm that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive assessment 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 distance or online education. All accrediting agencies 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 help in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Saraland AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the xray tech schools you are assessing have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Saraland AL medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Saraland AL in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good 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 college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Saraland AL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even 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 commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Saraland AL colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the xray tech school you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Saraland AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Saraland X-Ray Tech Training
Selecting the right x-ray technician degree program is a critical first step toward beginning a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are looking at before making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to be successful, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Saraland Alabama.