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Accredited Radiologic Technologist Programs Decatur AL 35601

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Decatur Alabama x-ray technician reviewing x-rays on monitorSo you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Decatur AL so you can learn to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you set about selecting the right college and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And since most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might need training to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. A number of potential students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost must be taken into account, there are other critical qualifications also. For instance, you should find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the degrees and training options that are offered.

X-Ray Technician Job Summary

Decatur Alabama doctor examining x-ray

There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same fundamental job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They can work in Decatur AL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may work with include:

  • Traditional and specialized X-Rays
  • Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Sonography or ultrasound
  • Fluoroscopy

Radiographers have to maintain their equipment and frequently assess its performance and safety. They are also required to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.

X-Ray Technician Degrees Available

Decatur Alabama x-rayThe standard prerequisite for attending a radiology tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to consider is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can often be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Decatur AL or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.

Radiographer Licensing and Certification

When you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, depending on the state where you will be working you may 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 require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number provide other alternatives for testing also. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options in and around Decatur AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.

Online X-Ray Tech Degrees

Decatur Alabama female student attending x-ray technician training onlineAs a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree schools. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a significant amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is typically provided in Decatur AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training can be attended in the comfort of your residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less expensive than traditional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be lessened also. But just make certain that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the ideal choice for you.

Questions to Ask X Ray Tech Schools

Once you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Decatur AL. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a determining factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship 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 need to ask the schools you are assessing.

Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? A large number of xray tech colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still important to make sure 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). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive review of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it can 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 premium education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Decatur AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level positions.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the radiology tech programs you are reviewing have associations with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to receive practical 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 graduates and students develop professional connections in the Decatur AL healthcare community and assist with job placement.

Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in Decatur 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 success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent 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 Program Located? For a number of students, the school they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Decatur 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 concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly 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.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Decatur AL schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program also.

Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the radiographer  college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Decatur AL area, check 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 enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.

Find Out More About Decatur Radiologic Technologist Programs

Choose the Right Decatur X-Ray Tech Training

Selecting the right x-ray technician degree program is a critical first step toward starting a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the greater part of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As has been addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you decide on an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each school so you can narrow down your options and make your decision. And with the proper training and your motivation to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Decatur Alabama.



 

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