How to Pick a Radiology Tech College near Montgomery Alabama
Congrats on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Montgomery AL so you can train to be a radiology technician. And now that you have made a decision to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you go about picking the ideal college and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And because the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it’s imperative that you investigate each of the schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. A number of prospective students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location must be taken into consideration, there are other significant qualifiers as well. For instance, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the colleges you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Work Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical fundamental job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They can work in Montgomery AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may utilize 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 routinely evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Montgomery AL medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available
The standard prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, usually takes 18 months to two years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to finish and is more expansive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate as well. Something to bear in mind is that Montgomery AL radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may typically be fulfilled by participating in an externship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, depending on the state where you will be working you may have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number provide other alternatives for testing also. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. However, many Montgomery AL employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Degrees
As a component of every 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 even though you can still obtain your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is typically provided in local hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training may be attended in the comfort of your Montgomery AL residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree often discover that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are frequently less expensive than conventional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be decreased as well. But just make certain that the online school 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 online classes may be the best option for you.
What to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of searching for and assessing Montgomery AL x-ray tech schools. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material factor also. But along with location and cost, what more should you factor in when reviewing colleges? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still important to verify that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed review of their instructors 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 recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in securing 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 a number of Montgomery AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level positions.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the Alabama radiology tech colleges you are reviewing have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Montgomery AL health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in a new profession can be challenging without support. Find out if the radiographer programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Montgomery AL healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Montgomery AL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Montgomery AL colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the x-ray tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in Montgomery AL, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Radiologic Technologist?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters frequently ask radiographer prospects is "What compelled you to select radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming an Xray technician, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to radiography, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare several approaches about how you want to address them. Since there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you along with the talents you possess that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Select the Right Radiology Technician Program near Montgomery AL
Choosing the appropriate radiology tech school is a crucial first step toward initiating a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the majority of the working day and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with 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 doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As has been covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are assessing prior to making your ultimate decision. 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 program so you can focus your options and make your final choice. And with the proper education and your commitment to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Montgomery AL.
Some Background on Montgomery Alabama
Montgomery /mɒntˈɡʌməri/ is the capital of the U.S. state of Alabama and is the county seat of Montgomery County. Named for Richard Montgomery, it is located on the Alabama River, in the Gulf Coastal Plain. As of the 2013 Census, Montgomery has a population of 201,332. It is the second-largest city in Alabama, after Birmingham, and is the 115th largest in the United States. The Montgomery Metropolitan Statistical Area had a 2010 estimated population of 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 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 selected as the first capital of the Confederate States of America, until the seat of government moved to Richmond, Virginia, in May of that year. During the mid-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; private colleges/universities Faulkner University and Huntingdon College; high-tech manufacturing, including Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama; and cultural attractions such as the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.
Two ships of the United States Navy have been named after the city, including USS Montgomery.
Montgomery has won several national awards: Best Historic City by USA Today, All-America City in 2014 by the National Civic League, "Top City For Job Growth" in 2014 by ziprecruiter.com, and the 'happiest city in Alabama.' Montgomery has also been recognized nationally for its downtown revitalization and new urbanism projects. It was one of the first cities in the nation to implement Smart Code Zoning.
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