So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Selma AL so you can train to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you set about selecting the ideal school and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled professional? And considering that most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you might need training to pass a licensing examination. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Many prospective students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifiers as well. For example, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and education options that are offered.
Radiology Technician Career Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the same primary job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They can work in Selma AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to care for their equipment and also routinely analyze its performance and safety. They are also required to retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Offered
The standard prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have received a high school diploma or GED. 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 techs, usually requires 18 months to two years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Selma AL or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be employed you might need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number approve other options for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could improve your career options in and around Selma AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Programs
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 large amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is typically carried out in Selma AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically find that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are generally more affordable than on-campus options. Along with lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be decreased also. But just confirm that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the advantages 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 ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
Once you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Selma AL. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be an important factor also. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of radiology tech schools have received 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 organizations 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 a rigorous examination of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it can also earn 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 ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Selma AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the xray technician colleges you are assessing have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Selma AL health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in Selma AL in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Selma AL home. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry 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 college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Selma AL schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer school you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Selma AL area, make sure that they are available. 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 carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Selma X-Ray Tech Training
Picking the appropriate x-ray tech college is a critical first step toward beginning a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As has been discussed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are reviewing before making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can focus your choices before making your final choice. And with the proper training and your commitment to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Selma Alabama.