So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Tuskegee AL so you can become a radiology technologist. But now that you have made a decision to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you go about choosing the right college and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And because the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's important that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Many potential students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location must be taken into consideration, there are other significant qualifiers also. For instance, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Occupation Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical fundamental job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They can work in Tuskegee AL hospitals, clinics, family 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 must take care of their equipment and also frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are also expected to keep in-depth 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 Degrees
The standard prerequisite for attending 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 common among techs, normally requires 18 months to two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to finish and is more expansive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate as well. Something to consider is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Tuskegee AL or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an Radiologist program, based on the state where you will be practicing you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria 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 licensing application, but a number provide additional options for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers prefer to 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 in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Programs
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So while you can still earn your online degree, a large amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is typically conducted in Tuskegee AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training can be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree often discover that the online approach to education is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are often cheaper than traditional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be reduced as well. But just make sure that the online college you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
After you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of finding and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Tuskegee AL. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of xray technician schools have received some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still imperative to verify that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected 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 examination of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets 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 ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Tuskegee AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the radiology technician programs you are assessing have partnerships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Tuskegee AL healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in Tuskegee AL in a new field can be challenging without help. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign 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 Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Tuskegee AL residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Tuskegee AL colleges you are reviewing 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 ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the xray tech school you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night 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 option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Tuskegee X-Ray Tech Program
Enrolling in the ideal x-ray technician school is a critical first step toward launching a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the day and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with 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 must in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As has been covered in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. This is just as true whether you decide on an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to be successful, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Tuskegee Alabama.