So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Talladega AL so you can learn to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have chosen to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle selecting the ideal school and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might need training to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. A number of prospective students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into account, there are other significant qualifiers as well. For instance, you should find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Job Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what 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 opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They can practice in Talladega AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to maintain their equipment and also frequently assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, usually takes 18 months to two years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Talladega AL or their region. After you have graduated from any 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.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number accept other options for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it could increase your career options in and around Talladega AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Classes
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree schools. So while you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is typically provided in Talladega AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to education is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are often less expensive than conventional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be decreased as well. But just make sure that the online program you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Talladega AL. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a determining variable as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you consider when evaluating schools? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? Most radiology technician colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still crucial to confirm that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Talladega AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the xray tech programs you are assessing have associations with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Talladega AL medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in Talladega AL in a new field can be difficult without help. Ask if the radiographer programs you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Talladega AL residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind 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 normally 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 rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Talladega AL colleges you are looking at what the average 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 converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Talladega AL area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Talladega X-Ray Tech Program
Picking the ideal x-ray tech school is an important first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and furnish 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 considering before making your final decision. This is just as true whether you opt for an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can narrow down your options and make your decision. And with the proper training and your commitment to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Talladega Alabama.