How to Find the Right Radiologic Tech Program near Northport Alabama
So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Northport AL so you can become a radiologic technician. But now that you have made a decision to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you go about selecting the right college and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And because the majority of states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you may require training to pass a licensing test. So it’s essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. A number of potential students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost must be considered, there are additional critical qualifications also. For instance, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this article. But first, let’s explore what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and training options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Summary in Northport AL
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the identical fundamental job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They can practice in Northport AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must care for their equipment plus frequently evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees Offered near Northport AL
The primary requirement for attending a radiology tech school is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may often be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which many schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Northport AL or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, depending on the state where you will be employed you may need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so check with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number offer additional options for testing also. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. However, numerous Northport area employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options in and around Northport 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 demands re-certification every 2 years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Programs
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a large amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is usually conducted in Northport AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your Northport home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online approach to education is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are generally more affordable than traditional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be decreased as well. But just make certain that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
Once you have chosen the type of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Northport AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a determining factor as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you factor in when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of radiology technician schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still important to confirm 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). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous 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 distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized 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 may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Northport AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the xray technician programs you are reviewing have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Northport AL health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in Northport AL in a new field can be difficult without support. Find out if the radiographer schools 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 good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Northport AL home. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry 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 might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Northport AL schools you are considering what the average 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 speak 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 need to verify that the xray tech college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Northport AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option 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 Northport AL?
If you are considering attending a radiologic technologist school near Northport AL, following is some interesting background information regarding the location of your future campus that may assist you in making your final decision.
Northport is a city in Tuscaloosa County in the west central part of the State of Alabama. Located on the Black Warrior River across from downtown Tuscaloosa, it is currently the 21st largest city in Alabama with an estimated population of 24,497 in 2013. It incorporated in 1871. It is part of the Tuscaloosa Metropolitan Statistical Area.
As Northport is adjacent to the larger city of Tuscaloosa, many residents work in Tuscaloosa or other parts of Tuscaloosa County. Although the two cities share a land boundary, much of their boundary (and historically all of the boundary) is the Black Warrior River.
As of the census of 2000, there were 19,435 people, 7,844 households, and 5,255 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,328.3 people per square mile (512.9/km²). There were 8,509 housing units at an average density of 581.6 per square mile (224.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 71.11% White, 26.03% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.80% Asian, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 1.02% from other races, and 0.70% from two or more races. 1.92% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 7,844 households out of which 32.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.3% were married couples living together, 15.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.0% were non-families. 28.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.98.
Find the Right Radiology X Ray Technician Training Northport AL
Picking the best x-ray tech degree program is a critical first step toward starting a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the greater part of the workday and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Radiology X Ray Technician Training. However, as we have covered in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are assessing before making your final decision. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can focus your choices before making your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiographer in Northport AL.
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