So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Tuskegee AL in order to train to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you tackle choosing the right school and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Many prospective students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into consideration, there are additional important qualifications as well. For instance, you should ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the identical major job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They may practice in Tuskegee AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to care for 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 are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees
The primary requirement for attending a radiology tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, normally requires 18 months to two years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to finish and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which many schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Tuskegee AL or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, based on the state where you will be employed you may need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary 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. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it might enhance your career options in and around Tuskegee AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Schools
As a part of any 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 online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is typically provided in Tuskegee AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training can be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often find that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are frequently cheaper than traditional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be lessened as well. But just be 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 right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiographer Programs
As soon as you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of looking for and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Tuskegee AL. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be an important factor as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? Most radiology tech colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still important to verify 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed review of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Tuskegee AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the xray tech programs you are assessing have partnerships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Tuskegee AL medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in Tuskegee AL in a new field can be challenging without support. Find out if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Tuskegee AL home. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose 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 typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Tuskegee AL schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the radiographer program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Tuskegee AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, 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 obligations.
Choose the Best Tuskegee X-Ray Tech Program
Enrolling in the right radiology tech degree program is a critical first step toward launching a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines 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. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As we have covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you decide on an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the proper education and your dedication to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Tuskegee Alabama.