How to Choose the Right Radiologic Technician Degree Program near Leeds Alabama
So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Leeds AL in order to become a radiologic technologist. But now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about picking the ideal school and program so that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And since most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you might require training to pass a licensing exam. So it’s essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Most potential students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and frequently gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location should be taken into account, there are additional important qualifications as well. For instance, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this post. But first, let’s discuss what a radiology tech does and the degrees and education options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Work Description in Leeds AL
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same fundamental job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They may practice in Leeds 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 have to take care of their equipment and routinely assess its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available near Leeds AL
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on 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 nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are appropriate also. Something to consider is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can frequently be satisfied by taking part in an externship program which many schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Leeds AL or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, based on the state where you will be employed you may need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so contact your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many offer other options for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous Leeds area employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it may improve your career options in and around Leeds AL to become certified. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Programs
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree programs. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is usually conducted in Leeds AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Leeds residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are often more affordable than on-campus options. In addition to lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be lessened also. But just make certain that the online school you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiographer Schools
As soon as you have selected the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Leeds AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important variable as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you consider when comparing colleges? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of radiology technician colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still crucial to verify that the program and school 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). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed examination of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help 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 Leeds AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the radiology tech programs you are reviewing have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Leeds AL health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Leeds AL in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Leeds AL home. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Leeds AL colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Leeds AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an X-ray Tech Program near Leeds AL?
If you are considering attending a radiologic technologist school near Leeds AL, following is some interesting background information regarding the location of your future campus that may assist you in making your final decision.
Leeds is a tri-county municipality located in Jefferson, St. Clair, and Shelby counties in the State of Alabama and is an eastern suburb of Birmingham. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 11,773.
The War of 1812, geography, geology, and three cultures shaped the history of Leeds. Lying at the crossroads of desecrated ancient Native-American paths in the center of Alabama, Leeds drew European and African-American settlers to a land of fertile growing seasons and rich sources of coal and mineral ore. The early settlers built churches and schools with many remaining in Cedar Grove, Oak Ridge, Ohanafeefee and Mt. Pleasant. The principal survey of Leeds was entered into Jefferson County Map Book 10, page 21, in 1908. The settlement, dating to 1818 and incorporating on April 27, 1887 as "Leeds", has existed along the banks of the Little Cahaba River; beside an historic stagecoach route; and along two large railroads for the greater part of American History.
James Hamilton, a Scottish-Irish American veteran of the War of 1812 and first sheriff of Shelby County, settled in Cedar Grove in 1816. John Richard Ingram Pashal Stewart, a Cherokee English teacher and American veteran of the War of 1812, settled at Ohanafeefee Village c.1840. At Oak Ridge in 1820 or 1821, European settlers formed Shiloh Cumberland Presbyterian Church, the first CPC congregation in middle Alabama. By 1887, the original railroad pioneers included free African-American settlers who came to work at the Leeds cement plant and the Central of Georgia as the Georgia Pacific railroads. Some gravitated to historic Mt. Pleasant Church where a handful of freed slaves had founded Scott City, Hillard Holley, Ciscero Davis, Jeff Harris, and Bill Johnson started Leeds Negro/Primary School in 1921.
The tale of John Henry was believed to have originated in Leeds. In this folk story, John Henry, the "steel-drivin' man", raced and won against a steam engine in the laying of railroad that penetrated the Oak Mountain Tunnel in Leeds. Retired chemistry professor and folklorist John Garst, of the University of Georgia, has argued that the contest happened at the Coosa Mountain Tunnel or the Oak Mountain Tunnel of the Columbus and Western Railway (now part of Norfolk Southern Railway) in Leeds on September 20, 1887.
Find the Right X Ray Tech Night School Leeds AL
Enrolling in the ideal x-ray tech school is a crucial first step toward starting a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. You originally came to this website due to an interest in X Ray Tech Night School. However, as we have covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you decide on an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each program so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the proper education and your motivation to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiographer in Leeds AL.
More Diagnostic Locations in Alabama