So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Moody AL so you can train to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle picking the ideal college and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And because the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you might need training to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Most potential students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost must be considered, there are additional critical qualifications also. For instance, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiology technician does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Technician Career Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical major job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They can work in Moody AL hospitals, clinics, private 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 must maintain their equipment and also frequently assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees
The standard prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have received 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, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are acceptable also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Moody AL or their area. Once you have graduated from any 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.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, depending on the state where you will be employed you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several accept other alternatives for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is optional. However, many healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase your career options in and around Moody AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires 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 fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Degrees
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree programs. So while you can still earn your degree online, a significant amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is usually conducted in Moody AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to education is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are frequently more affordable than on-campus options. In addition to lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. But just be sure that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the benefits 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 best choice for you.
What to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
When you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Moody AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you look at when comparing schools? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? The majority of radiology technician schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still important to make sure that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed examination of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Moody AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the radiology technician programs you are reviewing have partnerships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Moody AL healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in Moody AL in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Moody AL home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry 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 program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need 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 don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Moody AL colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer program you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Moody AL area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option 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 Moody X-Ray Tech Program
Picking the ideal radiology technician school is a critical first step toward starting a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs often stand for the greater part of the workday and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines 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. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As has been covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are looking at before making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the right training and your motivation to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Moody Alabama.