So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Moores Mill AL so you can learn to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you undertake choosing the ideal school and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a qualified professional? And because most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's important that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. A number of prospective students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost must be considered, there are additional important qualifiers as well. 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 must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiology tech does and the degrees and training choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical major job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They can practice in Moores Mill AL clinics, hospitals, family 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 must maintain their equipment plus regularly evaluate its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degree Options
The primary prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish 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 expansive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may often be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Moores Mill AL or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be working you may have to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so check with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number offer other alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous healthcare employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it may improve your career options in and around Moores Mill AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Degrees
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is typically carried out in Moores Mill AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically discover that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are generally less costly than conventional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be decreased as well. But just make certain that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
Once you have selected the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Moores Mill AL. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining variable also. But along with location and cost, what else should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still crucial to verify that the school and program 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). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on 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 guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might 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 jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the radiology technician schools you are evaluating have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Moores Mill AL healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that initial job in Moores Mill AL in a new field can be difficult without support. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the college they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Moores Mill AL residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Moores Mill AL colleges you are looking at 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 talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech program you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Moores Mill AL area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Moores Mill X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the appropriate radiology technician college is a critical first step toward launching a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to get 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 patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As has been discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are looking at before making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can focus your options and make your final choice. And with the right training and your commitment to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiographer in Moores Mill Alabama.