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X Ray Technician Degree Programs
 How to Enroll in the Best One Near Princeton Alabama

Princeton Alabama x ray technician and doctor examining x-raySo you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Princeton AL so you can train to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you undertake selecting the right college and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified professional? And based on where you eventually decide to practice, you will likely have to pass a licensing test since the majority of states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed. So it's important that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. A number of prospective students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Cost is obviously important, and students often gravitate toward the school with the lowest tuition. But while cost and location should be taken into account, there are other important qualifications as well. For instance, you should ask if the schools sponsor internship programs, or if the radiology technician colleges have received any accreditations. Later in this article we will give you a complete list of questions that you need to ask the X-ray Tech programs you are evaluating before making your final selection. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.

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Radiology Technician Career Description

There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the same fundamental job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They can work in Princeton AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might utilize include:

  • Traditional and specialized X-Rays
  • Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Sonography or ultrasound
  • Fluoroscopy

Radiographers have to take care of their equipment plus regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are also required to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.

Radiology Technician Degrees

Princeton Alabama x-ray tech reviewing x rayThe basic requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, normally takes 18 months to two years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to complete and is more expansive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be appropriate also. Something to consider is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may typically be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Princeton AL or their area. Once you have graduated from any 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.

Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing

When you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be working you might have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number approve additional options for testing also. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many Princeton area employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it may enhance your career options in and around Princeton AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.

Online Radiology Tech Colleges

Princeton Alabama woman enrolled in online radiology tech coursesAs a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So while you can still earn your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is typically conducted in Princeton AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Princeton home. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually find that the online style of education is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are generally more affordable than on-campus alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be reduced also. But just confirm that the online college you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the right option for you.

Points to Ask Radiology Tech Programs

As soon as you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech schools near Princeton AL. You will also have to determine if you want 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 relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining variable as well. But along with location and cost, what more should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are reviewing.

Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? A large number of radiology tech schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to verify that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive examination of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Princeton AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level positions.

Are Internships Provided? Ask if the xray technician schools you are evaluating have relationships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Princeton AL healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.

Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Princeton AL in a new field can be challenging without support. Ask if the radiographer schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Princeton AL home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern 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 decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Princeton AL schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program also.

Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the xray tech  program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Princeton AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

More Info on How to Become an X-Ray Tech in Princeton

Choose the Right Princeton X-Ray Technician Program

Choosing the right x-ray technician degree program is a critical first step toward beginning a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As has been covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you participate in an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each school so you can focus your choices before making your final choice. And with the right education and your commitment to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiology tech in Princeton Alabama.




 

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