So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Moody AL so you can become a radiologic technologist. And now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you go about selecting the ideal school and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you might need training to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to 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 usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location must be taken into consideration, there are additional critical qualifiers also. For example, you need to find out 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 examining are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Work Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the identical primary job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They can practice in Moody AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may 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 and routinely analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees
The primary requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical 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 up to 4 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 are acceptable as well. Something to consider is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Moody AL or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many provide other options for testing also. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, many healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it could improve 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 examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Colleges
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 colleges. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a large amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is typically performed in Moody AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training can be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are generally less costly than conventional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be reduced as well. But just confirm 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 formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
After you have selected the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of finding and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Moody AL. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important factor as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you look at when comparing schools? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? Most radiology tech colleges have obtained some form 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Moody AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the radiology technician programs you are reviewing have partnerships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Moody AL medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Moody AL in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Moody AL residence. Those who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Moody AL schools you are considering what the typical 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 an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the radiographer program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Moody AL area, make certain 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 need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Best Moody X-Ray Tech Training
Choosing the ideal x-ray technician school is an important first step toward launching a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the workday and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online school or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can focus your options and make your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your motivation to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiographer in Moody Alabama.