How to Become a Radiology Technician near Tuscaloosa Alabama
So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Tuscaloosa AL so you can become a radiologic technician. But now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you go about choosing the ideal school and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And considering that the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you may require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Many prospective students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location must be taken into account, there are additional critical qualifiers also. For example, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let’s talk about what a radiology technician does and the credentials and education options that are available.
X-Ray Tech Occupation Description in Tuscaloosa AL
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the identical primary job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They may practice in Tuscaloosa AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to maintain their equipment and also regularly evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain 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 Technician Degrees near Tuscaloosa AL
The standard prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech college 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 common among technicians, usually requires 18 months to two years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Tuscaloosa AL or their region. Once 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.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so check with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number provide other alternatives for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. However, numerous Tuscaloosa area employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could improve your career options in and around Tuscaloosa AL to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Programs
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is typically performed in Tuscaloosa AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training can be attended in the comfort of your Tuscaloosa residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are frequently less costly than conventional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be lessened also. But just make certain that the online program you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
After you have selected the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Tuscaloosa AL. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of xray tech schools have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it’s still important to verify that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it may also earn 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 premium education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Tuscaloosa AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the xray technician colleges you are reviewing have associations with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Tuscaloosa AL healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Tuscaloosa AL in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Tuscaloosa 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. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Tuscaloosa AL colleges you are researching 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 ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the xray tech program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Tuscaloosa AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering X-ray Tech School near Tuscaloosa AL?
If you are considering enrolling in a radiology tech school near Tuscaloosa AL, following is some interesting background information that may assist you in making your decision to live in that area.
Tuscaloosa (/tʌskəˈluːsə/ TUS-kə-LOO-sə) is a city in and the seat of Tuscaloosa County in west central Alabama (in the southeastern United States). Located on the Black Warrior River at the Atlantic Seaboard fall line of the Piedmont, it is the fifth-largest city in Alabama, with an estimated population of 100,287 in 2017. The city was originally known as Tuskaloosa until the early 20th century.
Incorporated as a town on December 13, 1819, it was named after Tuskaloosa, the chief of a band of Muskogean-speaking people. They battled and were defeated by forces of Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto in 1540 in the Battle of Mabila, thought to have been located in what is now central Alabama. Tuscaloosa served as Alabama's capital city from 1826 to 1846.
Tuscaloosa is the regional center of industry, commerce, healthcare, and education for the area of west-central Alabama known as West Alabama. It is the principal city of the Tuscaloosa Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Tuscaloosa, Hale and Pickens counties. In 2013 its estimated metro population was 235,628. Tuscaloosa is also the home of The University of Alabama, Stillman College and Shelton State Community College. While the city attracted international attention when Mercedes-Benz announced it would build its first automotive assembly plant in North America in Tuscaloosa County, the University of Alabama remains the dominant economic and cultural engine in the city, making it a college town.
Enroll in the Ideal X-Ray Tech Program near Tuscaloosa AL
Picking the right radiology technician college is a critical first step toward initiating a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the day and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As has been discussed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are assessing before making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can focus your choices before making your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your motivation to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Tuscaloosa AL.
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