So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Moody AL so you can become a radiology technician. And now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you set about choosing the ideal college and program so that you will get the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work 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 considering so that you can compare each program. A number of prospective students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and frequently settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location need to be considered, there are additional critical qualifiers also. For example, you must ask if 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 evaluating are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiology technician does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the identical principal job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide 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 hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must care for their equipment plus regularly evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Available
The basic requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have earned 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 prevalent among techs, usually requires 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 complete and is more expansive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to consider is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Moody AL or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several provide additional alternatives for testing also. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may enhance your career options in and around Moody AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as 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 Radiology Technician Schools
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree schools. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a large amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is usually conducted in Moody AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are often less expensive than traditional options. Along with lower tuition, expenses 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 benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
After you have selected the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech schools near Moody AL. You will also need to determine if you want to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a determining variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you consider when comparing colleges? Well, you should check out if the schools 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 need to ask the schools you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray tech schools have received some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still crucial to make sure 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 gone through a detailed evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. 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 help in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Moody AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the radiology tech schools you are evaluating have relationships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Moody AL health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in Moody AL in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the radiographer programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success 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 corroborates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Moody AL residence. Individuals 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 keep in mind is that if you decide 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 normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Moody AL colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer school you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Moody AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask 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
Enrolling in the appropriate radiology tech school is an important first step toward launching a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the greater part of the day and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As has been discussed in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are reviewing before making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Moody Alabama.