How to Select the Right Radiologic Tech School near Bessemer Alabama
So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Bessemer AL so you can become a radiologic technologist. And now that you have chosen to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle selecting the right college and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And since most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you might require training to pass a licensing test. So it’s important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Many potential students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location must be considered, there are additional significant qualifiers as well. For example, you should find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are presented later in this post. But first, let’s explore what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Career Summary in Bessemer AL
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the identical principal job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They can work in Bessemer 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 care for their equipment plus frequently assess its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees Available near Bessemer AL
The basic prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, generally takes 18 months to two years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at as much as four years to finish and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Bessemer AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several offer other alternatives for testing also. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, many Bessemer area employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it might increase your career options in and around Bessemer AL to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Degrees
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So while you can still earn your degree online, a considerable amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is typically conducted in Bessemer AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your Bessemer home. Students who continue working while earning their degree often discover that the online style of learning is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less costly than on-campus options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be lessened also. But just confirm that the online school you pick 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 online classes may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
Once you have selected the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Bessemer AL. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a material variable as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you consider when reviewing colleges? 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 important details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of xray technician schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it’s still important to confirm 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). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive assessment of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Bessemer AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the radiology tech colleges you are assessing have partnerships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Bessemer AL medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in Bessemer AL in a new profession can be challenging without help. Ask if the radiographer schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Bessemer AL home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Bessemer AL schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Bessemer AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in an X-ray Tech Program near Bessemer AL?
If you are considering attending a radiologic technologist school near Bessemer AL, following is some interesting background information regarding the location of your future campus that may assist you in making your final decision.
Bessemer is a city southwest of Birmingham in Jefferson County, Alabama, United States. The population was 27,456 at the 2010 Census. It is within the Birmingham-Hoover, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area, of which Jefferson County is the center. It developed rapidly as an industrial city in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The town was founded in the postbellum era by the Bessemer Land and Improvement Company, named after Henry Bessemer and owned by coal magnate Henry F. DeBardeleben. He had inherited Daniel Pratt's investments. The mayor and councilmen voted to incorporate the city of Bessemer on September 9, 1887. Located 16 miles southwest of Birmingham, Bessemer grew rapidly and its promoters believed that it might overtake the other city in economic power.
Given the iron ore, coal and limestone deposits in the area, the city became a center of steelmaking from about 1890 through the 20th century. It attracted rural migrants from across the South, as well as European immigrants. By the 1950s, the city was majority African American in population.
Bessemer is situated in the midst of the iron ore and limestone district of Alabama, in the southern part of Jones Valley (about 3 miles (4.8 km) wide). Iron ore was mined on the hills on the city's southeast side, coal was (and still is) mined to the north and west, and limestone deposits were also nearby. All three ingredients were necessary for steelmaking, which led to the area becoming a major steel center from about 1890 through the twentieth century. Steel is no longer made within the city limits, but is still manufactured in the neighboring city of Fairfield.
Find the Right Radiology Technician Degree Bessemer AL
Selecting the ideal x-ray tech college is a critical first step toward beginning a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the working day and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Radiology Technician Degree. However, as we have discussed in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online school or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a radiographer in Bessemer AL.
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