So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Theodore AL in order to train to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about selecting the right school and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might require training to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Most prospective students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be considered, there are additional significant qualifications as well. For example, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and education options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Work Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same principal job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They may work in Theodore 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 plus frequently analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees Offered
The standard prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech program is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are appropriate also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Theodore AL or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, based on the state where you will be employed you might need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number accept additional options for testing also. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it may increase your career options in and around Theodore AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which can be fulfilled 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 colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a considerable amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is usually performed in Theodore AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online style of education is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are frequently more affordable than conventional options. Along with reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be decreased as well. But just make sure that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
After you have selected the type of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Theodore AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you consider when reviewing colleges? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still imperative to make sure 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Theodore AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level positions.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the xray tech colleges you are assessing have partnerships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Theodore AL medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in Theodore AL in a new profession can be challenging without help. Ask if the radiographer schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and great 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 school they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Theodore AL residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern 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 choose 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 typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Theodore AL colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final 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 as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the xray tech college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Theodore AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Theodore X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the right radiology technician degree program is an important first step toward initiating a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the workday and position 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 adhere to the safety requirements developed 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 social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As has been discussed in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are considering before making your final decision. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each school so you can focus your choices and make your final choice. And with the right training and your commitment to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiology tech in Theodore Alabama.