So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Moores Mill AL in order to learn to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about selecting the right college and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you might need training to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Many prospective students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location should be considered, there are other important qualifications also. For example, you must ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and training choices that are available.
Radiology Technician Occupation Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical principal job description, 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 the treatment of cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They can work in Moores Mill AL clinics, hospitals, family 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 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 Tech Degrees
The standard prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have earned 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 common among techs, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more extensive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are acceptable as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship program which a large number of colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Moores Mill AL or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be working you may have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so check with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many offer additional alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might improve your career options in and around Moores Mill AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Schools
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a large portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often performed in Moores Mill AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training can be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online style of education is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less expensive than traditional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. But just be sure that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online school may be the right choice for you.
What to Ask Radiographer Colleges
Once you have selected the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Moores Mill AL. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important variable also. But along with location and cost, what more should you factor in when evaluating schools? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship 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 colleges you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? A large number of xray technician colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still important to confirm that the program and school are accredited. Among 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 undergone an extensive review of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Moores Mill AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the xray technician colleges you are assessing have associations with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Moores Mill AL medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in Moores Mill AL in a new profession can be challenging without support. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Moores Mill AL residence. Individuals 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 concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need 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 Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Moores Mill AL colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the xray tech college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Moores Mill AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Moores Mill X-Ray Tech Program
Picking the appropriate x-ray technician college is a crucial first step toward initiating a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the workday and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As has been covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. This is just as true whether you opt for an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each program so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiology tech in Moores Mill Alabama.