How to Choose the Right X-Ray Technician Program near Muscle Shoals Alabama
So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Muscle Shoals AL in order to train to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have chosen to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about choosing the ideal college and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled professional? And considering that most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Many prospective students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location should be taken into account, there are additional important qualifications also. For example, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and training choices that are available.
Radiology Tech Occupation Description in Muscle Shoals AL
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical fundamental job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They may practice in Muscle Shoals AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might 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 routinely analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees near Muscle Shoals AL
The standard requirement for attending an x-ray tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to finish and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may typically be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Muscle Shoals AL or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, depending on the state where you will be working you might have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number provide other alternatives for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, many Muscle Shoals area employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options in and around Muscle Shoals AL to become certified. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Degrees
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is often provided in Muscle Shoals AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your Muscle Shoals residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree often discover that the online style of learning is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are frequently cheaper than on-campus alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be reduced as well. But just confirm that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiographer Programs
As soon as you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of looking for and assessing x-ray technician schools near Muscle Shoals AL. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential 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 X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? Most radiology tech colleges have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it’s still crucial to verify that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed review of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Muscle Shoals AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level openings.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the radiology technician programs you are evaluating have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Muscle Shoals AL healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in Muscle Shoals AL in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Muscle Shoals AL residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local 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 even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Muscle Shoals AL colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Muscle Shoals AL area, verify 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 enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in an X-ray Tech Program near Muscle Shoals AL?
If you are considering attending a radiologic technologist school near Muscle Shoals AL, following is some interesting background information regarding the location of your future campus that may assist you in making your final decision.
Muscle Shoals, Alabama
Muscle Shoals is the largest city in Colbert County, Alabama, United States. It is located along the Tennessee River in the northern part of the state and, as of the 2010 census, the population of Muscle Shoals was 13,146. The estimated population in 2015 was 13,706.
Both the city and the Florence-Muscle Shoals Metropolitan Area (including four cities in Colbert and Lauderdale counties) are commonly called "the Shoals".Northwest Alabama Regional Airport serves the Shoals region, located in the northwest section of the state.
Since the 1960s, the city has been known for music. Local studios and artists developed the "Muscle Shoals Sound", including FAME Studios in the late 1950s and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in 1969. They produced hit records that shaped the national and international history of popular music.
Due to its strategic location along the Tennessee River, Muscle Shoals had long been territory of historic Native American tribes. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, as Europeans entered the area in greater number, it became a center of historic land disputes. The new state of Georgia had ambitions to anchor its western claims (to the Mississippi River) by encouraging European-American development here, but that project did not succeed.
Find the Right X Ray Technologist Education Muscle Shoals AL
Choosing the best x-ray technician degree program is an important first step toward beginning a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the greater part of the working day and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available care to patients. You originally came to this website due to an interest in X Ray Technologist Education. However, as has been covered in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are reviewing before making your final selection. This is equally true whether you participate in an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the right education and your dedication to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a radiology tech in Muscle Shoals AL.
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