Home >> Alabama >> Birmingham >> How To Become A Radiology Technician


X Ray Tech Schools
Get Free Info - Birmingham AL 35005

Radiology Tech Programs
 How to Find the Right One Near Birmingham Alabama

Birmingham Alabama x ray tech and doctor examining x-raySo you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Birmingham AL in order to learn to be a radiology technologist. But exactly how do you go about locating and choosing the best school and program so that you are fully trained and ready to begin your career of providing quality healthcare services? And since the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you may require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Many students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Cost is also important, and students too often settle on the school with the most affordable tuition. But while cost and location should be taken into consideration, there are additional important qualifiers as well. As an example, you should ask if the schools sponsor internship programs, or if the radiology tech colleges have received any accreditations. These inquiries and others that you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiology technician does and the degrees and education choices that are available.

It Only Takes a Few Minutes to Begin Your Career in Radiology

Radiology Tech Work Description

X-ray technicians are a category of radiologic technologist, which is a medical professional that specializes in using equipment to take diagnostic imagery of patients. X-ray techs can be found preparing patients for imaging procedures, maintaining and operating equipment, and collaborating with physicians to interpret the results of an imaging scan. Over half of all radiologic techs work in hospitals, however X-ray technicians are needed in a number of different Birmingham AL medical facilities, including clinics, diagnostic labs and urgent care centers. Although it varies by facility, some X-ray technicians will be called on to work evenings, weekends and even holidays to care for patients in emergency situations. An X-ray technician’s job location also has some impact on their daily job duties. They can work at outpatient clinics where they may ask health background questions, take patient’s vital measurements and perform basic lab procedures. In larger facilities, they may assist during surgical procedures with the use of fluoroscopy. There are numerous options for X-ray technicians to work in medical facilities that match their scheduling needs, interests and specialties.

X-Ray Tech Degrees

Birmingham Alabama radiology tech examining x rayThe standard prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to complete and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may frequently be satisfied by taking part in an externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Birmingham AL or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.

X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification

After you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, based on the state where you will be working you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so contact your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number accept additional alternatives for testing also. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous Birmingham area employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may enhance your career options in and around Birmingham AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.

Online X-Ray Technician Programs

Birmingham Alabama woman enrolled in online radiology technician classesAs 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 schools. So although you can still earn your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is often provided in Birmingham AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your Birmingham home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online style of learning is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently cheaper than traditional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be reduced also. But just be sure that the online program you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the ideal choice for you.

Points to Ask Radiographer Programs

After you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Birmingham AL. You will also have to determine 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 college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material variable as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are assessing.

Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of radiology technician schools have earned some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still crucial to verify 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Birmingham AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level positions.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the xray technician programs you are evaluating have relationships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Birmingham AL medical community and assist with obtaining employment.

Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Birmingham AL in a new profession can be challenging without help. Find out if the radiographer programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and in demand.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Birmingham AL home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing 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 may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Birmingham AL schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. 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 speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program as well.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the radiographer  school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Birmingham AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.

Find Out How to Become an Radiology Technician in Birmingham

Choose the Best Birmingham X-Ray Tech School

Choosing the best x-ray tech school is a critical first step toward initiating a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the working day and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As we have covered in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. This is just as true whether you participate in an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each college so you can focus your choices before making your decision. And with the right training and your motivation to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiology tech in Birmingham Alabama.




 

Birmingham How To Become An X Ray Tech | Birmingham X Ray Tech Schools