How to Choose the Right Radiology Technician Degree Program near Huntsville Alabama
So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Huntsville AL in order to learn to be a radiology technician. But now that you have chosen to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you undertake picking the right college and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you might require training to pass a licensing exam. So it’s essential that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Many students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into account, there are additional important qualifications as well. For example, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. 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 discuss what a radiology technician does and the degrees and training options that are available.
Radiology Tech Job Summary in Huntsville 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, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the identical primary job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They can practice in Huntsville AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech 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 analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees Offered near Huntsville AL
The primary prerequisite 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 Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to complete and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can frequently be satisfied by taking part in an externship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Huntsville AL or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so check with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several offer other alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many Huntsville area employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may enhance your career options in and around Huntsville AL to become certified. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Colleges
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 while you can still obtain your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is usually provided in Huntsville AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training may be attended in the privacy of your Huntsville residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree often find that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online schools are generally less expensive than traditional options. Along with lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be decreased as well. But just make sure that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiographer Programs
Once you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of searching for and assessing x-ray tech colleges near Huntsville AL. You will also have to determine if you want to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material variable as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you factor in when evaluating colleges? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are considering.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? The majority of radiology tech colleges have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still important to confirm that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance 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 obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Huntsville AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the radiology tech programs you are assessing have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Huntsville AL health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in Huntsville AL in a new profession can be challenging without help. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Huntsville AL home. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously 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 bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly 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.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Huntsville AL schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer college you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Huntsville AL area, confirm 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 have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in an X-ray Tech Program near Huntsville AL?
If you are considering attending a radiologic technologist school near Huntsville AL, following is some interesting background information regarding the location of your future campus that may assist you in making your final decision.
Huntsville is a city located primarily in Madison County in the Appalachian region of northern Alabama. Huntsville is the county seat of Madison County. The city extends west into neighboring Limestone County and south into Morgan County. Huntsville's population was 180,105 as of the 2010 census. Huntsville is the third-largest city in Alabama and the largest city in the five-county Huntsville-Decatur-Albertville, AL Combined Statistical Area, which at the 2013 census estimate had a total population of 683,871. The Huntsville Metropolitan Area's population was 417,593 in 2010 to become the 2nd largest in Alabama. Huntsville metro's population reached 441,000 by 2014.
It grew across nearby hills north of the Tennessee River, adding textile mills, then munitions factories, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and the United States Army Aviation and Missile Command nearby at the Redstone Arsenal. The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Huntsville to its "America's Dozen Distinctive Destinations for 2010" list.
The first settlers of the area were Muscogee-speaking people. The Chickasaw traditionally claim to have settled around 1300 after coming east across the Mississippi. A combination of factors, including depopulation due to disease, land disputes between the Choctaw and Cherokee, and pressures from the United States government had largely depopulated the area prior to 1805. That year Revolutionary War veteran John Hunt settled in the land around the Big Spring. The 1805 Treaty with the Chickasaws and the Cherokee Treaty of Washington of 1806 ceded native claims to the United States Government. The area was subsequently purchased by LeRoy Pope, who named the area Twickenham after the home village of his distant kinsman Alexander Pope.
Twickenham was carefully planned, with streets laid out on the northeast to southwest direction based on the flow of Big Spring. However, due to anti-British sentiment during this period, the name was changed to "Huntsville" to honor John Hunt, who had been forced to move to other land south of the new city.
Find the Right Radiography Technologist Schools Huntsville AL
Picking the right x-ray tech college is a crucial first step toward launching a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the greater part of the workday and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best available patient care. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Radiography Technologist Schools. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can narrow down your options before making your decision. And with the appropriate training and your dedication to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiographer in Huntsville AL.
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