So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Talladega AL so you can become a radiology technologist. And now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you go about choosing the ideal college and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And since most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you may need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Many potential students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location must be taken into consideration, there are additional important qualifications as well. For example, you should find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and training choices that are available.
Radiology Tech Work Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the same principal 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 provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They may practice in Talladega AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may utilize 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 analyze its functionality and safety. They are also required to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available
The standard prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, normally requires 18 months to two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can often be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Talladega AL or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be working you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many offer other alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it could increase your career options in and around Talladega 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 requires re-certification every other year, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Schools
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree colleges. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a significant amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is often performed in Talladega AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically discover that the online approach to education is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are often less costly than conventional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be reduced as well. But just make certain that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiographer Schools
After you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Talladega AL. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be an important variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you factor in when evaluating colleges? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of radiology tech colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still important to make sure 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 earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the school 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 recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Talladega AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the radiology tech programs you are assessing have partnerships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Talladega AL healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in Talladega AL in a new profession can be challenging without help. Find out if the radiographer schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Talladega AL home. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Talladega AL schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer school you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Talladega AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses 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 work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Talladega X-Ray Tech School
Choosing the ideal x-ray technician degree program is a critical first step toward initiating a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the majority of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and provide the best available patient care. As has been addressed in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are assessing prior to making your final selection. This is just as true whether you opt for an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each school so you can focus your choices before making your decision. And with the proper education and your commitment to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiographer in Talladega Alabama.