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Radiology Tech Degree Programs
 How to Choose the Right One Near Prattville Alabama

Prattville Alabama x ray tech and doctor reviewing x-raySo you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Prattville AL so you can train to be a radiologic technician. But exactly how do you accomplish finding and selecting the best school and program so that you are properly trained and ready to begin your career of providing quality healthcare services? And based on where you ultimately decide to practice, you may need to pass a licensing test since most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. One of the first things that many prospective students hone in on when starting their search is the distance the schools are from their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location need to be considered, there are other important qualifications as well. For instance, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others that you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.

It Only Takes a Few Minutes to Begin Your Career in Radiology

Radiology Tech Career Summary

There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the identical major 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 administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They may practice in Prattville AL hospitals, clinics, family 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
  • Fluoroscopy

Radiographers must take care of their equipment and also regularly evaluate its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep 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

Prattville Alabama radiology technician reviewing x rayThe primary requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have earned 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 common among techs, normally takes 18 months to two years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to complete and is more expansive in nature. Most 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 programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may typically be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Prattville AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.

X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification

When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, based on the state where you will be employed you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number accept other options for testing as well. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, many Prattville area employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it might increase your career options in and around Prattville AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.

Online X-Ray Technologist Schools

Prattville Alabama female student enrolled in online x ray technician classesAs a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So while you can still earn your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is usually conducted in Prattville AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your Prattville home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are often less costly than on-campus options. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be lessened also. But just be sure that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online school may be the ideal option for you.

Points to Ask X Ray Tech Schools

As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Prattville AL. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be an important factor as well. But along with location and cost, what more should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are assessing.

Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray technician schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to verify 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 a detailed assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Prattville AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level positions.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the radiology tech programs you are reviewing have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional connections in the Prattville AL medical community and assist with job placement.

Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Prattville AL in a new profession can be difficult without support. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Prattville AL residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Prattville AL colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.

Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer  college you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Prattville AL area, confirm 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 procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

Learn More on How to Become an X-Ray Tech in Prattville

Choose the Right Prattville Radiology Technician Program

Picking the best x-ray tech school is a crucial first step toward initiating a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the greater part of the day and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray 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 good work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As we have addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are looking at prior to making your final decision. This is equally true whether you participate in an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can focus your options and make your final choice. And with the proper education and your commitment to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Prattville Alabama.




 

Prattville Radiology Technician Schools | Prattville Radiologic Technician Schools