So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Satsuma AL in order to train to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you go about picking the right school and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified professional? And considering that the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. A number of students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be considered, there are other critical qualifiers also. For example, you must find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Work Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the identical primary job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They may work in Satsuma AL clinics, hospitals, family 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 care for their equipment plus routinely evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options
The basic requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, normally requires 18 months to two years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to complete and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate also. Something to consider is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Satsuma AL or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, based on the state where you will be working you might have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number provide other options for testing as well. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may enhance your career options in and around Satsuma 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 can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Programs
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree schools. So while you can still earn your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is often conducted in Satsuma AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training can be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online style of learning is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are frequently less costly than conventional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be lessened as well. But just make 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 formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
After you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of finding and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Satsuma AL. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a material factor as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you consider when reviewing schools? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? A large number of radiology technician colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to make sure that the program and school 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). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized 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 obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Satsuma AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the xray tech schools you are assessing have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Satsuma AL health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in Satsuma AL in a new field can be difficult without help. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Satsuma AL residence. 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 consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Satsuma AL colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few 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 need to verify that the radiographer program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Satsuma AL area, make sure that they are available. 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 need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Satsuma X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the right x-ray tech school is a critical first step toward initiating a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray 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 pleasant work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As we have covered in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you decide on an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each program so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the proper training and your motivation to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a radiographer in Satsuma Alabama.