How to Pick the Right Radiologic Tech School near Decatur Alabama
So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Decatur AL so you can train to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have chosen to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you go about selecting the ideal school and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And because the majority of states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you may require preparation to pass a licensing exam. 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 prospective students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and frequently gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifiers also. For example, you need to find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let’s talk about what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
Radiology Technician Work Description in Decatur AL
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the identical major job function, which is to utilize 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. Some choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They can work in Decatur AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to care for their equipment plus routinely analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options near Decatur AL
The primary requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. 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 techs, 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 complete and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can often be satisfied by participating in an externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Decatur AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, depending on the state where you will be working you may have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many offer additional alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, many Decatur area employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could increase your career options in and around Decatur AL to become certified. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Schools
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree colleges. So while you can still earn your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is often conducted in Decatur AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your Decatur home. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually find that the online style of education is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less expensive than on-campus options. In addition to lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be reduced as well. But just make certain that the online program you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiographer Schools
Once you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of searching for and assessing x-ray tech schools near Decatur AL. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you consider when comparing schools? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of radiology tech colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it’s still imperative to make sure that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Decatur AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the xray tech colleges you are reviewing have relationships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Decatur AL health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in Decatur AL in a new field can be challenging without support. Ask if the radiographer programs you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Decatur AL home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Decatur AL colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer program you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Decatur AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out 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 Decatur AL?
If you are considering attending a radiologic technologist school near Decatur AL, following is some interesting background information regarding the location of your future campus that may assist you in making your final decision.
Decatur is a city in Morgan and Limestone counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. The city, nicknamed "The River City", is located in Northern Alabama on the banks of Wheeler Lake, along the Tennessee River. It is the largest city and county seat of Morgan County. The population in 2010 was 55,683.
Decatur is also the core city of the two-county large Decatur, Alabama metropolitan area which had an estimated population of 153,374 in 2013. Combined with the Huntsville Metropolitan Area, the two create the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area, of which Decatur is the second-largest city.
Like many southern cities in the early 19th century, Decatur's early success was based upon its location along a river. Railroad routes and boating traffic pushed the city to the front of North Alabama's economic atmosphere. The city rapidly grew into a large economic center within the Tennessee Valley and was a hub for travelers and cargo between Nashville and Mobile, as well as Chattanooga and New Orleans. Throughout the 20th century, the city experienced steady growth, but was eclipsed as the regional economic center by the fast-growing Huntsville during the space race. The city now finds its economy heavily based on manufacturing, mining, cargo transit, chemical, and high-tech companies such as Vulcan Materials,Daikin,Toray, and United Launch Alliance.
Initially the area was known as "Rhodes Ferry Landing", named for Dr. Henry W. Rhodes, an early landowner who operated a ferry that crossed the Tennessee River in the 1810s at the present-day location of Rhodes Ferry Park. The city was incorporated as Decatur in 1821. It was named in honor of Stephen Decatur; after he was killed in a duel in 1820, President Monroe directed that the Alabama town be named for him.
Find the Right X Ray Technician Trade Schools Decatur AL
Selecting the appropriate x-ray technician college is an important first step toward initiating a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the day and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. You originally came to this website due to an interest in X Ray Technician Trade Schools. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. This is just as true whether you participate in an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the proper education and your motivation to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Decatur AL.
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