How to Find the Right Radiologic Technician Degree Program near Montgomery Alabama
So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Montgomery AL in order to train to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you undertake choosing the right school and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And because the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it’s imperative 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 begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and frequently settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location should be taken into account, there are other important qualifiers also. For instance, you should ask 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 talk about what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and training choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Job Summary in Montgomery AL
There are a number of 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, each has the same major job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They may work in Montgomery AL hospitals, clinics, family 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 have to care for their equipment and also routinely assess its performance and safety. They are also 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 Technician Degrees near Montgomery AL
The primary requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have received 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 typical among techs, usually takes 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to four years to complete and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may often be fulfilled by participating in an externship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Montgomery AL or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, based on the state where you will be working you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many offer additional alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many Montgomery area employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may improve your career options in and around Montgomery AL to become certified. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Colleges
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So while you can still obtain your degree online, a large portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is usually performed in Montgomery AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Montgomery home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online style of education is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are generally cheaper than traditional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be lessened also. But just make certain that the online program you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
As soon as you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Montgomery AL. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important factor also. But along with cost and location, what else should you factor in when evaluating schools? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it’s still imperative to make sure 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 obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous review of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Montgomery AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the xray technician schools you are assessing have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Montgomery AL healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in Montgomery AL in a new profession can be difficult without help. Find out if the radiographer programs you are assessing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Montgomery AL residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Montgomery AL schools you are reviewing 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 ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the xray tech program you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Montgomery AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Radiology X Ray Technician Training Montgomery AL
Picking the right radiology technician school is an important first step toward launching a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the greater part of the workday and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Radiology X Ray Technician Training and wanting more information on the topic Where to Find Night X Ray Technician Schools. However, as has been discussed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are assessing prior to making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the proper education and your motivation to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiology tech in Montgomery AL.
Other Alabama Diagnostic Locations
Montgomery is the capital city of the U.S. state of Alabama and the county seat of Montgomery County. Named for Richard Montgomery, it stands beside the Alabama River, on the coastal Plain of the Gulf of Mexico. In the 2010 Census, Montgomery's population was 205,764. It is the second most populous city in Alabama, after Birmingham, and is the 118th most populous in the United States. The Montgomery Metropolitan Statistical Area's population in 2010 was estimated at 374,536; it is the fourth largest in the state and 136th among United States metropolitan areas.
The city was incorporated in 1819 as a merger of two towns situated along the Alabama River. It became the state capital in 1846, representing the shift of power to the south-central area of Alabama with the growth of cotton as a commodity crop of the Black Belt and the rise of Mobile as a mercantile port on the Gulf Coast. In February 1861, Montgomery was chosen the first capital of the Confederate States of America, which it remained until the Confederate seat of government moved to Richmond, Virginia, in May of that year. In the middle of the 20th century, Montgomery was a major center of events and protests in the Civil Rights Movement, including the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Selma to Montgomery marches.
In addition to housing many Alabama government agencies, Montgomery has a large military presence, due to Maxwell Air Force Base; public universities Alabama State University, Troy University (Montgomery campus), and Auburn University at Montgomery; two private post-secondary institutions, Faulkner University and Huntingdon College; high-tech manufacturing, including Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama; and many cultural attractions, such as the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.
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