So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Moody AL so you can become a radiologic technologist. But now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you go about selecting the right school and program so that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And because the majority of states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Many potential students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost must be taken into consideration, there are other important qualifications as well. For example, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Job Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the identical principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They may work in Moody AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must take care of their equipment plus regularly evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available
The primary requirement for attending an x-ray tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, usually takes 18 months to two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate as well. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Moody AL or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, based on the state where you will be employed you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number accept additional options for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. However, many healthcare employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it could enhance your career options in and around Moody AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Classes
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is typically provided in Moody AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training may be attended in the comfort of your home. Students who continue working while earning their degree often discover that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are frequently less expensive than on-campus options. Along with lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be lessened as well. But just make sure that the online school you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online school may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
Once you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of looking for and assessing x-ray tech schools near Moody AL. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a determining factor also. But along with location and cost, what else should you factor in when comparing colleges? 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 essential details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? A large number of radiology technician schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still crucial to make sure that the school and program 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). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive examination of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it might 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. In addition to ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Moody AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the radiology technician schools you are interested in have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Moody AL medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in Moody AL in a new profession can be challenging without help. Find out if the radiographer schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Moody AL home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern 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 choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps 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 live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Moody AL colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. 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 several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the xray tech program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Moody AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Moody X-Ray Tech School
Choosing the best radiology tech school is a critical first step toward starting a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the workday and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are assessing prior to making your final decision. This is just as true whether you decide on an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Moody Alabama.