How to Become a Radiology Technician near Pleasant Grove Alabama
So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Pleasant Grove AL in order to train to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have decided to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you tackle choosing the right school and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you might require training to pass a licensing exam. So it’s imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Many potential students start by looking 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 location and cost must be taken into account, there are additional important qualifications as well. For example, you must find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this post. But first, let’s discuss what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and education options that are offered.
Radiology Technician Occupation Summary in Pleasant Grove AL
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the same major job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They may work in Pleasant Grove AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech 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 also routinely evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degree Options near Pleasant Grove AL
The standard requirement for attending a radiology tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate 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 longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more extensive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can frequently be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Pleasant Grove AL or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be employed you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many provide other alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, many Pleasant Grove area employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it may increase your career options in and around Pleasant Grove AL to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Degrees
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So although you can still earn your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is often carried out in Pleasant Grove AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your Pleasant Grove home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically discover that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently less expensive than on-campus alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be lessened as well. But just be sure that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of finding and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Pleasant Grove 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 college will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a material factor also. But along with location and cost, what else should you consider when comparing schools? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? The majority of xray tech schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it’s still crucial to make sure that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through 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 distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Pleasant Grove AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the xray tech schools you are interested in have relationships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Pleasant Grove AL healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that initial job in Pleasant Grove AL in a new field can be difficult without support. Find out if the radiographer schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Pleasant Grove AL residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even 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 often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Pleasant Grove AL schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher 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 students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the radiographer school you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Pleasant Grove AL area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Considering X-ray Tech School near Pleasant Grove AL?
If you are considering enrolling in a radiology tech school near Pleasant Grove AL, following is some interesting background information that may assist you in making your decision to live in that area.
Pleasant Grove, Alabama
It was established in 1889, but incorporated as a city in January 1937. The incorporation came about by reason of a rather unusual circumstance. The town sits on land honeycombed by coal mines. For many years the residents had relied on water wells for their water supply. As years passed and more mining was done, Pleasant Grove found itself confronted with a problem. Residents would sometimes go to their well to draw water only to find there was none. The water had gone into the mines.
During the mid to late 30s, the Federal Government had a program for financing the building of local water systems. In exploring the possibility of securing such funds, it was revealed that in order to secure such financing a community must be legally incorporated. At this time the incorporation became a reality.
The first appointed Mayor of Pleasant Grove was W.P. Stone. The city is governed by a mayor and five council members who serve four-year terms. Elections for city officials is held during the summer of each leap year with four-year terms beginning the first Monday in October. The area known as Pleasant Grove, Alabama was first homesteaded in September 1836. Pleasant Grove is in Jefferson County. Although no one seems to know when or exactly how the town came by its name, old documents indicate that at least part of this area was called Pleasant Grove as early as 1884. Pleasant Grove was made up of four communities which included Frog Pond, Lizard Ridge, Cottage Hill, and Pleasant Grove.
Select the Right Radiology Tech College near Pleasant Grove AL
Picking the right x-ray technician college is an important first step toward launching a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As has been covered in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are reviewing 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 appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can narrow down your options and make your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiographer in Pleasant Grove AL.
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