So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Tuskegee AL in order to train to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you set about choosing the right college and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a skilled professional? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you may need training to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. A number of potential students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into consideration, there are additional important qualifiers as well. For example, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let's explore what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Job Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the same fundamental job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They may practice in Tuskegee AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech 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 evaluate its performance and safety. They are also required to retain in-depth records of all 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 requirement for attending an x-ray tech college is to have attained 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 techs, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to consider is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may typically be satisfied by participating in an internship program which many schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Tuskegee AL or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, based on the state where you will be practicing you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several approve other options for testing also. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it could increase your career options in and around Tuskegee AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Schools
As a part 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 schools. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is often performed in Tuskegee AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training can be attended in the privacy of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often find that the online style of learning is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online schools are often cheaper than on-campus alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be decreased as well. But just confirm that the online school you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Radiographer Schools
After you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Tuskegee AL. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be an important variable also. But along with location and cost, what else should you consider when evaluating schools? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? The majority of radiology tech schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still crucial to confirm that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies 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 a rigorous assessment of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Tuskegee AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the xray tech schools you are interested in have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Tuskegee AL medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that initial job in Tuskegee AL in a new field can be difficult without help. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Tuskegee AL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Tuskegee AL colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. 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 speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the xray tech program you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Tuskegee AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Choose the Best Tuskegee X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the right radiology technician school is an important first step toward launching a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the day and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As we have discussed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are looking at prior to making your final selection. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can narrow down your options before making your decision. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Tuskegee Alabama.