So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Talladega AL in order to train to be a radiology technician. But now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake picking the right college and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And since most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you might require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Many students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into consideration, there are other critical qualifiers as well. For example, you should find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and education options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Occupation Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the same fundamental job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They may practice in Talladega AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might 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 routinely evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to retain detailed records of each 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 a radiology tech school is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. 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 takes 18 months to two years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to complete and is more extensive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate also. Something to consider is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Talladega AL or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be working you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several offer other alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it could improve your career options in and around Talladega AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Classes
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So while you can still earn your online degree, a large portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often carried out in Talladega AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online approach to education is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are generally less expensive than on-campus options. Along with lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be reduced as well. But just be sure that the online program you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
After you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of searching for and assessing x-ray tech schools near Talladega AL. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining factor also. But along with cost and location, what more should you look at when evaluating colleges? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? Most radiology technician colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still important to make sure that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded 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 gone through an extensive evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Talladega AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the radiology technician programs you are interested in have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Talladega AL healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in Talladega AL in a new profession can be difficult without help. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Talladega AL residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Talladega AL colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the xray tech program you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Talladega AL area, make certain 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 because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Talladega X-Ray Tech Training
Selecting the appropriate x-ray technician school is an important first step toward launching a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the greater part of the day and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As has been covered in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. This is equally true whether you participate in an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can narrow down your options before making your decision. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiographer in Talladega Alabama.