So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Moody AL in order to learn to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you undertake choosing the ideal college and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And because most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Many potential students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location must be taken into account, there are additional critical qualifiers as well. For instance, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and training choices that are available.
Radiology Technician Work Summary
There are several professional designations 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 same primary job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They can practice in Moody 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 have to care for their equipment plus frequently analyze its performance and safety. They are also required to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degree Options
The basic requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, normally takes 18 months to two years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to complete and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Moody AL or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be working you may need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so check with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many accept additional options for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might enhance your career options in and around Moody AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Classes
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So although you can still earn your online degree, a large portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is often conducted in Moody AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree often find that the online style of education is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less costly than on-campus alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be decreased also. But just make sure that the online college you enroll in 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 an online degree may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
When you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of searching for and assessing x-ray technician schools near Moody AL. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a material variable as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you consider when comparing schools? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? Most xray technician colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still imperative to confirm that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive examination of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Moody AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the xray technician schools you are interested in have associations with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Moody AL healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in Moody AL in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the radiographer programs you are assessing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Moody AL home. Those who have decided to attend classes online 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 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 may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Moody AL schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Moody AL area, verify that they are available. 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, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Choose the Right Moody X-Ray Tech School
Selecting the ideal radiology tech college is a crucial first step toward starting a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the day and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As we have covered 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 selection. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the right training and your motivation to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Moody Alabama.