So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Wetumpka AL so you can learn to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have made a decision to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you undertake selecting the ideal school and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might require training to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Most prospective students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and frequently settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into account, there are additional critical qualifications also. For instance, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you should 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 training options that are available.
X-Ray Tech Occupation Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the same fundamental job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They may work in Wetumpka 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 have to take care of their equipment and also routinely analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Offered
The basic requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, normally takes 18 months to two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to complete and is more expansive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are acceptable as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may often be fulfilled by participating in an internship program which many schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Wetumpka AL or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many approve other alternatives for testing also. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it might enhance your career options in and around Wetumpka AL to earn certification. 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 may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Programs
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is often conducted in Wetumpka AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online style of education is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently less expensive than traditional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be lessened also. But just be sure that the online program you choose 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 online classes may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
After you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Wetumpka AL. You will also need 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 price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? A large number of radiology technician colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still crucial to confirm that the school and program 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). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the school 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 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 aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Wetumpka AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the xray technician colleges you are evaluating have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Wetumpka AL medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in Wetumpka AL in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success 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 graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Wetumpka AL residence. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally 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 person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Wetumpka AL colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Wetumpka AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Wetumpka X-Ray Tech Training
Enrolling in the ideal x-ray tech degree program is an important first step toward launching a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As we have discussed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are considering prior to making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each college so you can narrow down your options before making your decision. And with the right education and your dedication to be successful, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiographer in Wetumpka Alabama.