So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Selma AL in order to learn to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you set about selecting the ideal school and program so that you will get the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Most students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location should be taken into consideration, there are other critical qualifiers as well. For instance, you should find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. 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 explore what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Job Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the identical fundamental job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, 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 technologist might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to take care of their equipment plus routinely assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degree Options
The primary requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to finish and is more extensive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are acceptable also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may typically be satisfied by participating in an internship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Selma AL or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be employed you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many approve additional options for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it could increase your career options in and around Selma AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Schools
As a part of every 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 although you can still earn your degree online, a significant amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is usually conducted in Selma AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically find that the online approach to education is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are often less costly than on-campus options. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be lessened as well. But just confirm 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 formalized type of training, then an online school may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiographer Schools
When you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Selma AL. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? The majority of radiology tech schools have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still imperative to confirm 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). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it can 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. Besides guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Selma AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the radiology technician colleges you are assessing have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Selma AL medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in Selma AL in a new field can be difficult without help. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid 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 highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Selma AL home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider 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 typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Selma AL schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Selma AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Selma X-Ray Tech School
Picking the ideal radiology technician college is a crucial first step toward beginning a rewarding new career providing 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 day and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As has been discussed in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online program or drive 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 proper education and your commitment to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Selma Alabama.