So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Spanish Fort AL in order to train to be a radiology technician. And now that you have decided to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you tackle picking the right school and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And because most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may need training to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Most potential students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into account, there are other critical qualifications also. For instance, 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 considering are presented later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Occupation Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same primary job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They may work in Spanish Fort AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might work with 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 frequently assess its performance and safety. They are also expected 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.
Radiology Tech Degrees Available
The standard requirement for attending a radiology tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. 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 technicians, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish and is more extensive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable as well. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may typically be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which many schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Spanish Fort AL or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be practicing you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many approve other options for testing as well. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may increase your career options in and around Spanish Fort 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 demands re-certification every two years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Degrees
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So although you can still earn your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is often provided in Spanish Fort AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online approach to education is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are generally cheaper than on-campus options. Along with lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be reduced also. But just confirm that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Spanish Fort AL. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a determining variable as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you consider when evaluating schools? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of xray technician colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. 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). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive review of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Spanish Fort AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the radiology tech programs you are reviewing have partnerships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Spanish Fort AL health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Spanish Fort AL in a new profession can be challenging without support. Find out if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement 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 graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Spanish Fort AL residence. Individuals who have decided 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 even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Spanish Fort AL schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the radiographer school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Spanish Fort AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Spanish Fort X-Ray Tech School
Choosing the best radiology tech degree program is a crucial first step toward launching a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the workday and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As has been addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are assessing before making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each school so you can focus your choices before making your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Spanish Fort Alabama.