How to Pick the Right X-Ray Tech Program near Shelby Alabama
So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Shelby AL in order to learn to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you set about choosing the ideal school and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And since the majority of states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may require training to pass a licensing examination. So it’s essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. A number of prospective students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into account, there are other critical qualifiers also. For instance, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let’s explore what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Career Summary in Shelby AL
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the identical fundamental job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They may practice in Shelby AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment plus regularly evaluate its performance and safety. They are also required to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees near Shelby AL
The standard prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech school is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Shelby AL or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several accept other options for testing also. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is optional. However, numerous Shelby area employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options in and around Shelby AL to become certified. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Programs
As a part 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 programs. So although you can still earn your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is typically provided in Shelby AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your Shelby home. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually find that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are frequently cheaper than traditional options. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just make certain that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
After you have chosen the type of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of locating and assessing x-ray technician schools near Shelby AL. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? Most xray technician colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it’s still crucial to make sure 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous examination of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it can also receive 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 ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Shelby AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the radiology tech schools you are assessing have relationships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Shelby AL healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in Shelby AL in a new field can be difficult without support. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Shelby AL residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes 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 college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Shelby AL schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer program you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Shelby AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in an X-ray Tech Program near Shelby AL?
If you are considering attending a radiologic technologist school near Shelby AL, following is some interesting background information regarding the location of your future campus that may assist you in making your final decision.
Shelby County, Alabama
Shelby County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census the population was 195,085. The county seat is Columbiana. The county is named in honor of Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky from 1792 to 1796 and again from 1812 to 1816.
Shelby County was established on February 7, 1818, and it was named for the Revolutionary War hero and the first Governor of Kentucky, Isaac Shelby. Beginning in 1820, the first county seat was located at Shelbyville. This settlement, long defunct, was located within the modern city limits of Pelham. The first courthouse was built of logs. The seat was moved to Columbia, now Columbiana, in 1826. Initially housed in an old school building, a new brick courthouse building was completed in 1854. It is now known as the Old Shelby County Courthouse and houses the Shelby County Museum and Archives. The current limestone courthouse was built from 1905–06, at a cost of $300,000.
Shelby County was the home of an early inland waterway, the Coosa River, and it was also the location of a very early east-west railroad in Alabama that connected Atlanta, Georgia, with locations to its west. Shelby County was also crossed by an early north-south railroad, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, that connected Louisville, Nashville, Decatur, Birmingham, and Montgomery.
With the advent of the automobile and the truck, Shelby County was soon crossed from north to south by U.S. Highway 31, the major one that followed the same route as the Louisville and Nashville Railroad did. (All U.S. Highways, with "one" as their last of two digits are major north-south ones: e.g. U.S. 11, 21, 31, 41, 51, 61, and 71.) The eastern part of Shelby County was later crossed by U.S. Highway 231 and U.S. 280.
Find the Right Xray Tech Programs Shelby AL
Selecting the best radiology technician college is an important first step toward initiating a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the day and position and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best available patient care. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Xray Tech Programs. However, as we have 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 just as true whether you enroll in an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can focus your choices and make your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your motivation to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Shelby AL.
More Diagnostic Locations in Alabama