So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Tillmans Corner AL so you can become a radiologic technologist. But now that you have chosen to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle picking the ideal school and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And because the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you might require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Many prospective students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location must be considered, there are other critical qualifiers as well. For example, you should find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and training options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the identical major 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 choose to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They may work in Tillmans Corner AL clinics, hospitals, family 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 maintain their equipment plus regularly assess its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Available
The primary prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to consider is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Tillmans Corner AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be working you may need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so contact your state. Presently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many accept other options for testing also. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. 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 Tillmans Corner AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Degrees
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree programs. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a large amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often performed in Tillmans Corner AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically find that the online approach to education is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are generally cheaper than on-campus options. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be reduced also. But just confirm that the online program you choose 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 choice for you.
What to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
Once you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Tillmans Corner AL. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a determining factor also. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? A large number of radiology tech colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still crucial to confirm that the program and school 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Tillmans Corner AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level openings.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the xray technician colleges you are reviewing have associations with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional connections in the Tillmans Corner AL healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that initial job in Tillmans Corner AL in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the radiographer programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Tillmans Corner AL residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person 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 enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Tillmans Corner AL schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech college you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Tillmans Corner AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Right Tillmans Corner X-Ray Tech Program
Choosing the right x-ray technician college is a critical first step toward initiating a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the day and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians 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 good work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As we have discussed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are looking at prior to making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your dedication to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Tillmans Corner Alabama.