So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Tuskegee AL so you can learn to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have chosen to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake picking the right school and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And because most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you might need training to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate 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 check tuition and frequently settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost must be taken into account, there are additional critical qualifiers as well. For instance, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the credentials and education choices that are available.
Radiology Technician Work Summary
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the identical fundamental job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, 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 technician might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment and also frequently analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally required to keep 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 Available
The standard prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally requires 18 months to two years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which many schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Tuskegee AL or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might have to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number offer other options for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it may enhance your career options in and around Tuskegee AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Degrees
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a large portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often provided in Tuskegee AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training may be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually discover that the online style of learning is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are often cheaper than on-campus alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be reduced also. But just make sure that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
Once you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Tuskegee AL. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be an important factor as well. But along with location and cost, what more should you factor in when evaluating colleges? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? Most xray tech schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to confirm that the school and program 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive review of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it may also receive 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. In addition to ensuring a quality 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 certification and licensing as required. And many Tuskegee AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the xray tech colleges you are reviewing have relationships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Tuskegee AL health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in Tuskegee AL in a new profession can be challenging without support. Find out if the radiographer schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Tuskegee AL residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Tuskegee AL colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the xray tech program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Tuskegee AL area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Tuskegee X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the right x-ray tech college is an important first step toward starting a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As we have addressed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you opt for an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each school so you can focus your choices before making your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Tuskegee Alabama.