How to Choose the Right Radiologic Tech College near Fairfield Alabama
So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Fairfield AL so you can train to be a radiology technician. And now that you have chosen to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you go about picking the ideal school and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And since the majority of states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you may need training to pass a licensing test. So it’s essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Most students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost should be taken into consideration, there are additional important qualifications as well. For example, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this post. But first, let’s discuss what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Work Summary in Fairfield AL
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the identical fundamental job function, which is to employ 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. Many choose to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They may practice in Fairfield AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might 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 performance and safety. They are also expected to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options near Fairfield AL
The standard prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have received 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, generally requires 18 months to two years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may frequently be fulfilled by participating in an externship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Fairfield AL or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be practicing you might need to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number approve additional alternatives for testing also. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous Fairfield area employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it may enhance your career options in and around Fairfield AL to become certified. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Schools
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree colleges. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is usually carried out in Fairfield AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your Fairfield residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online style of learning is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are often less expensive than traditional options. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be decreased as well. But just make sure that the online college you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
When you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of looking for and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Fairfield AL. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray tech colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it’s still important to confirm that the program and school 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). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Fairfield AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the radiology technician schools you are assessing have associations with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Fairfield AL medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in Fairfield AL in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Fairfield AL home. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Fairfield AL schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the xray tech college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Fairfield AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an X-ray Tech Program near Fairfield AL?
If you are considering attending a radiologic technologist school near Fairfield AL, following is some interesting background information regarding the location of your future campus that may assist you in making your final decision.
Fairfield is a city in western Jefferson County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Birmingham metropolitan area and is located southeast of Pleasant Grove. The population was 11,117 at the 2010 census.
This city was founded in 1910 in which the featured speaker at the dedication ceremony was former President Theodore Roosevelt. It was originally named Corey, after an executive of U.S. Steel Corporation. The name was later changed to the city in which the President of U.S. Steel lived, Fairfield, Connecticut. It was planned as a model city by the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company to house workers in their new Fairfield Works plant, now owned by U.S. Steel, similar to its northeastern city of Ensley.
As of the census of 2000, there were 12,381 people, 4,600 households, and 3,141 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,503.8 people per square mile (1,354.2/km²). There were 4,960 housing units at an average density of 1,403.7 per square mile (542.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 8.90% White, 90.23% Black or African American, 0.06% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.17% from other races, and 0.48% from two or more races. 0.59% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 4,600 households out of which 34.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.6% were married couples living together, 28.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.7% were non-families. 29.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.17.
Find the Right Radiology Tech Colleges Fairfield AL
Enrolling in the right radiology technician degree program is a critical first step toward starting a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to 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. Having social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Radiology Tech Colleges. However, as has been covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are considering before making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you decide on an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each school so you can narrow down your options and make your decision. And with the right education and your dedication to succeed, you can realize your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Fairfield AL.
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