So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Moores Mill AL in order to become a radiology technologist. And now that you have made a decision to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about selecting the ideal school and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And considering that most states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it's important that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Many students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location should be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifiers as well. For instance, you should find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Job Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same primary job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They may work in Moores Mill AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to take care of their equipment and also regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally required to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees
The standard prerequisite for attending a radiology tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to complete and is more extensive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can often be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Moores Mill AL or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist college, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary 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 exam for the purpose of licensing, but many offer additional options for testing as well. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, numerous healthcare employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it could enhance your career options in and around Moores Mill AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Colleges
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges 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 significant amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is often provided in Moores Mill AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training may be attended in the privacy of your residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree often discover that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online schools are frequently more affordable than conventional options. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be reduced as well. But just make sure that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
When you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of looking for and assessing x-ray tech schools near Moores Mill AL. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and secondary expenses will be an important factor as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of xray technician schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still imperative to make sure that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded 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 gone through a rigorous assessment of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting organizations 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 help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Moores Mill AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the xray tech programs you are reviewing have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Moores Mill AL medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in Moores Mill AL in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the radiographer schools you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Moores Mill AL residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Moores Mill AL colleges you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Moores Mill 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 courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Moores Mill X-Ray Tech School
Enrolling in the right radiology technician degree program is a critical first step toward initiating a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs often stand for the greater part of the workday and position and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As we have covered in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each school so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the proper education and your commitment to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Moores Mill Alabama.