How to Choose the Right Radiologic Tech College near Hartselle Alabama
So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Hartselle AL in order to train to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you undertake choosing the right school and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And since most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. A number of students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and frequently gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into consideration, there are other important qualifiers as well. For instance, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let’s explore what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and training options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Job Summary in Hartselle AL
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the identical primary job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They may work in Hartselle AL clinics, hospitals, family 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 take care of their equipment and also frequently assess its performance 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 Hartselle AL
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, normally takes 18 months to two years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Hartselle AL or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech 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 get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number accept other alternatives for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous Hartselle area employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might increase your career options in and around Hartselle AL to become certified. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Degrees
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is typically performed in Hartselle AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training can be attended in the comfort of your Hartselle home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically find that the online style of education is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are frequently more affordable than on-campus options. Along with lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be decreased as well. But just be sure that the online program you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Hartselle AL. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important variable as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you factor in when evaluating colleges? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray tech schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still imperative to confirm 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 obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous review of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it might also obtain 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. Along with guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Hartselle AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the radiology tech colleges you are interested in have partnerships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Hartselle AL healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in Hartselle AL in a new profession can be difficult without support. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Hartselle AL residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college 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 often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Hartselle AL colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the xray tech school you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Hartselle AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in an X-ray Tech Program near Hartselle AL?
If you are considering attending a radiologic technologist school near Hartselle AL, following is some interesting background information regarding the location of your future campus that may assist you in making your final decision.
Hartselle is the second largest city in Morgan County, Alabama, United States, about 10 miles (16 km) south of Decatur, and is included in the Decatur Metropolitan Area, and the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area.
As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of the city was 14,255. Hartselle was founded in 1870 with the arrival of the South and North Alabama Railroad. It takes its name from George Hartsell, one of the railroad's owners. The post office opened in 1873. It was formally incorporated on March 1, 1875. Most of the oldest buildings were destroyed by a disastrous fire in 1916.
Hartselle is located at 34°26′25″N 86°56′25″W / 34.44028°N 86.94028°W / 34.44028; -86.94028Coordinates: 34°26′25″N 86°56′25″W / 34.44028°N 86.94028°W / 34.44028; -86.94028 (34.440383, -86.940385).
As of the census of 2000, there were 12,019 people, 4,816 households, and 3,534 families residing in the city. The population density was 809.0 people per square mile (312.3/km²). There were 5,170 housing units at an average density of 348.0 per square mile (134.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.25% White, 5.16% Black or African American, 0.63% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.33% from other races, and 1.31% from two or more races. 1.29% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Find the Right Radiation Technologist Degree Hartselle AL
Selecting the appropriate radiology tech degree program is an important first step toward launching a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the working day and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Radiation Technologist Degree. However, as we have covered in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are assessing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you opt for an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the proper training and your motivation to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Hartselle AL.
More Diagnostic Locations in Alabama