So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Spanish Fort AL so you can become a radiology technician. And now that you have chosen to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you undertake picking the ideal college and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And considering that most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you may require training to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. A number of students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location must be taken into account, there are other significant qualifiers as well. For instance, you need to find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a radiology tech does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Work Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same fundamental job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They may work in Spanish Fort AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist 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 plus frequently analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally required to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degree Options
The standard prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have attained 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 prevalent among techs, normally requires 18 months to two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are acceptable also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can often be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Spanish Fort AL or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, depending on the state where you will be employed you may need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several approve additional options for testing as well. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it may improve your career options in and around Spanish Fort AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Schools
As a part of every 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 even though you can still earn your online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is usually carried out in Spanish Fort AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically discover that the online style of education is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online schools are often cheaper than traditional options. Along with lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be reduced also. But just confirm that the online school you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
Once you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Spanish Fort AL. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you factor in when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to make sure that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive review of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Spanish Fort AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the radiology tech programs you are evaluating have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Spanish Fort AL medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in Spanish Fort AL in a new profession can be difficult without help. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Spanish Fort AL home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Spanish Fort AL schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the xray tech program you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Spanish Fort AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Spanish Fort X-Ray Tech School
Choosing the ideal radiology tech school is a critical first step toward beginning a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the day and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As we have covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are considering before making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you participate in an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the proper education and your motivation to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Spanish Fort Alabama.