How to Select the Right Radiology Technician College near Alabaster Alabama
So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Alabaster AL so you can train to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about choosing the ideal college and program so that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you might require training to pass a licensing test. So it’s imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. A number of students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into account, there are other important qualifications also. For instance, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let’s talk about what a radiology tech does and the degrees and training choices that are available.
Radiology Technician Career Description in Alabaster AL
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the same primary job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They may work in Alabaster 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 have to care for their equipment plus frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Available near Alabaster AL
The standard requirement for attending an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, usually requires 18 months to two years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at as much as four years to complete and is more comprehensive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may typically be satisfied by participating in an externship program which many schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Alabaster AL or their region. 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 practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be employed you may need to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many approve other alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, many Alabaster area employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it may enhance your career options in and around Alabaster AL to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Degrees
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 online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is typically carried out in Alabaster AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your Alabaster home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online style of education is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are often less expensive than on-campus alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be decreased also. But just make certain that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
As soon as you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Alabaster AL. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you choose 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 cost and location, what else should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of radiology technician schools have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still crucial to verify that the program and school 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). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed review of their teachers and course materials. If the college 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 premium education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Alabaster AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the radiology tech schools you are interested in have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Alabaster AL health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in Alabaster AL in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the radiographer programs you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Alabaster AL home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Alabaster AL schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the xray tech college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Alabaster 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 enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in an X-ray Tech Program near Alabaster AL?
If you are considering attending a radiologic technologist school near Alabaster AL, following is some interesting background information regarding the location of your future campus that may assist you in making your final decision.
Alabaster is a city and southern suburb of Birmingham in Shelby County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census, the population was 30,352. According to the 2013 Census Estimates, the city had a population of 31,342. Alabaster is the 16th largest city in Alabama by number of residents.
Alabaster mostly occupies the Cahaba and Opossum Valleys, which are divided by the Pine Ridge that runs north to south. To the east and west, both valleys are flanked by parallel mountain ridges that locally run north to south, but are a part of a larger system of ridges that generally runs north-east to south-west (the tailing ends of the Appalachian foothills). The valleys are drained by small creeks (Buck Creek, Beaverdam Creek) which flow into the Cahaba River.
George L. Scott, Sr., an Alabaster pioneer, owned and operated Alabaster Lime Co. His shipping point was known as “Scott Rock”. Later, housing was built to accommodate some of the employees, and the community acquired its name Alabaster from the "white calcium carbonate mineral". The First Bank of Alabaster opened in 1952, and its president was George L. Scott, Jr., who later became the first mayor of Alabaster. The first attempt in 1952 to incorporate Alabaster failed. In January 1953, the petition was again filed, and on February 23, 1953, Alabaster was officially incorporated with a favorable vote of 79 to 23, and 427 residing inhabitants. In 1955, the Alabaster Water and Gas Board was formed.
As of the census of 2010, there were 30,352 people, 11,016 households, and 6,482 families residing in the city .The population density was 1,104.8 people per square mile (426.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 81.2% White,15.0% Black or African American, 0.31% Native American, 0.64% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 2.2% from other races, and 0.69% from two or more races. 4.54% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Find the Right Radiologic Technologist School Alabaster AL
Selecting the right x-ray tech college is a crucial first step toward initiating a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the greater part of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and provide the best possible patient care. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Radiologic Technologist School. However, as we have addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are assessing before making your final selection. This is just as true whether you decide on an online school or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each college so you can narrow down your options and make your decision. And with the proper training and your commitment to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiographer in Alabaster AL.
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