How to Find the Right X-Ray Tech Degree Program near Gardendale Alabama
So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Gardendale AL so you can become a radiologic technician. And now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle selecting the ideal college and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled professional? And considering that most states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you may require training to pass a licensing test. So it’s important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Most students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be considered, there are additional significant qualifiers also. For instance, you must find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Occupation Description in Gardendale AL
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the same major job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They may practice in Gardendale AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist 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 maintain their equipment and also 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 are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees Offered near Gardendale AL
The primary prerequisite for attending a radiology tech college is to have earned 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 common among technicians, usually takes 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at as much as four years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can frequently be satisfied by participating in an externship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Gardendale AL or their region. 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 practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, based on the state where you will be employed you may need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements 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 accept additional options for testing also. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous Gardendale area employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase your career options in and around Gardendale AL to become certified. ARRT’s certification program requires 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 exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Programs
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree programs. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a large amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is usually provided in Gardendale AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your Gardendale residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often find that the online approach to education is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently cheaper than conventional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just be sure that the online program you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
After you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Gardendale AL. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a determining variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when evaluating colleges? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of radiology technician schools have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still important to verify that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies 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 detailed assessment of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Gardendale AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the radiology technician programs you are evaluating have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Gardendale AL health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in Gardendale AL in a new profession can be difficult without support. Find out if the radiographer schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Gardendale 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 importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Gardendale AL schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer school you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Gardendale AL area, confirm that they are offered. 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, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in an X-ray Tech Program near Gardendale AL?
If you are considering attending a radiologic technologist school near Gardendale AL, following is some interesting background information regarding the location of your future campus that may assist you in making your final decision.
A large farm settlement near the area today known as Gardendale was settled around 1825. Some years later, other settlers began to move into the community commonly known as Jugtown, a name given to the area based on the presence of a large jug and churn factory that operated in the area. Some years later, Hettie Thomason Cargo, a school teacher, would lead a campaign to change the name of the community. In 1906, the name Gardendale was selected, and in 1955, the City of Gardendale was officially incorporated. Today, with more than 13,000 residents (estimated), the city of Gardendale has grown to include more than 400 businesses, 4 schools, and 24 churches.
In 1996, the Olympic torch run passed through the city during the weeks leading up to the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta. Before Interstate 65 was constructed, the main route between Nashville, Tennessee and Birmingham, Alabama was U.S. Route 31. Prior to being built as a four-lane road, U.S. 31 was a twisting two-lane road that is still largely visible today. From the north end of Gardendale, it is now Snow Rogers Road, North Road, Moncrief Road, and then Main Street southward through the city to the Fultondale city limit where it becomes Stouts Road. In the fall of 2008, new signs were placed along the original route of Stouts Road through Gardendale denoting its historical significance as a stagecoach route between Tennessee and Birmingham during the 19th century. The first traffic signals in the city were located along U.S. 31 at Tarrant Road, Fieldstown Road, and Moncrief Road as well as Tarrant Road at Pineywood Road. A new signal at the intersection of Fieldstown Road and Main Street near city hall replaced a blinking signal shortly thereafter. Fieldstown Road was a narrow two lane road from U.S. 31 westward until Interstate 65 was built and then Fieldstown Road was re-routed onto the new road in the mid-1980s. An abundance of traffic signals have been erected in the city since those early days. In approximately 1970, the city installed street lights along U.S. 31 from the Fultondale city limits northward to the Moncrief Road intersection. The technology at that time was for blue vapor lights. Today, nearly 40 years later those same blue vapor lights still exist with some being replaced with the more modern bulbs near major intersections. Since 1980, Gardendale has annexed considerable amounts of land on the north, east, and west sides. Much of the eastern area is uninhabited. The western annexation is centered along Fieldstown Road. Most of the newest residential development has been in this area and along Shady Grove Road south of Fieldstown Road. The northern annexation has centered along US 31 and extends nearly 2 miles (3.2 km) farther north than 1980. The city has a working historical society, established January 23, 2006, that is working to record the history of the Gardendale area. They have a museum that is open to the public on Saturday mornings each week. It contains a variety of photographs, documents, and other historical memorabilia from Gardendale.
Gardendale is located at 33°39′36″N 86°48′46″W / 33.66000°N 86.81278°W / 33.66000; -86.81278 (33.6601033, -86.8127702). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.0 square miles (47 km2), all land. However, with the recent annexation of several thousand acres from the community of Mt. Olive and other unincorporated areas, the city now has an estimated total area of around 25.0 square miles (65 km2). Gardendale is situated along one of the three major transportation corridors from the Midwest to the Gulf Coast (I-75, I-65, I-55). A tremendous volume of freight (via rail and truck) passes through or near Gardendale.
Gardendale is served by two major north-south highways: Interstate 65 and U.S. 31. A new interstate highway, Interstate 22 will run northwestward from I-65 near Gardendale towards Memphis, Tennessee. This freeway is open from Coalburg Road near Fultondale just southwest of Gardendale to Memphis. Another future road project is the Northern Beltline which will run from Interstate 59 near Argo westward across northern Jefferson County, crossing I-65 on the northern edge of Gardendale. This highway is currently designated to become Interstate 422. This route is some 15–20 years away from completion. Major east/west roads in Gardendale include Fieldstown Road (there has been some discussion of requesting a state highway designation for this road between US 31 and I-65 and perhaps westward towards I-22) which runs from U.S. 31 in Gardendale westward, Tarrant Road which runs from the city eastward, and Mt. Olive Road which runs northwestward from the city. Another future road project may be an extension of Fieldstown Road east of U.S. 31 to connect to the Castle Pines development (which is in the city but only accessible via a roundabout route nearly 10 miles (16 km) long) and then across New Castle Road, and then further east to connect to Carson Road. Gardendale is located in an area that once yielded large amounts of coal. Gardendale is located at the southwestern end of one of the Appalachian ridgelines running from eastern Tennessee into northeast Alabama. Several old and closed coal mines exist in the area as well as lands that were once strip mined and then replanted for forests. No major waterways are located in Gardendale but several streams feed into the Locust Fork of the Black Warrior River that passes north and west of the city. Much of the land inside the city limits on the east and northeast sides of Gardendale is rocky and hilly with deep ravines. This portion of the city is sparsely populated and has limited access by road. The only major rail line passing near Gardendale is a north/south track passing on the eastern edge of the city from Boyles Yard near Tarrant paralleling New Castle Road northward towards Blount County. This rail line carries freight and is not a passenger line. The nearest passenger train service is by Amtrak at the Birmingham station 10 miles (16 km) south of Gardendale. Commercial air travel is located at the nearby Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.
Find the Right X Ray Tech Training Online Gardendale AL
Selecting the appropriate radiology technician college is a critical first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the day and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and provide the best available care to patients. You originally came to this website due to an interest in X Ray Tech Training Online. However, as has been discussed in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are considering prior to making your final selection. This is just as true whether you opt for an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can focus your choices before making your decision. And with the right training and your motivation to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiographer in Gardendale AL.
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