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Xray Tech Degree Programs
 How to Enroll in the Best One Near Birmingham Alabama

Birmingham Alabama x ray tech and physician examining x raySo you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Birmingham AL in order to become a radiology technician. But now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you go about selecting the right school and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified professional? And based on where you eventually decide to practice, you may need to pass a licensing exam since the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians be licensed. So it’s critical that you compare the schools on your short list by assessing the pros and cons of each of their X-ray technician programs. Most potential students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Cost is obviously a consideration, and students too often settle on the school with the most affordable tuition. But while location and cost need to be considered, there are other critical qualifications as well. As an example, you should inquire about the sponsoring of internship programs, or if the radiology tech colleges have received any accreditations. These questions and others that you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this article. But first, let's explore the degrees and training choices that are available.

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X-Ray Technician Degree Options

Birmingham Alabama radiology technician examining x rayThe basic prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may often be satisfied by taking part in an externship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Birmingham AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one 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 Certification and Licensing

When you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, based on the state where you will be working you may need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so get in touch with 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 many approve other alternatives for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many Birmingham area employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may improve 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 calls for re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.

Online Radiology Technician Degrees

Birmingham Alabama woman enrolled in online x ray technician coursesAs a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So while you can still earn your online degree, a substantial amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is typically provided in Birmingham AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your Birmingham home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online style of education is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are generally cheaper than on-campus options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be decreased as well. But just make certain that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the right choice for you.

Topics to Ask Radiology Tech Programs

Once you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Birmingham 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 of course the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important variable also. But along with location and cost, what more should you look at when comparing schools? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are considering.

Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? The majority of radiology technician colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still crucial to make sure that the program and school 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Birmingham AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level jobs.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the radiology tech programs you are reviewing have associations with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Birmingham AL medical community and assist with job placement.

Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in Birmingham AL in a new field can be challenging without support. Find out if the radiographer schools you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Birmingham AL home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind 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 usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Birmingham AL schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer  school you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Birmingham AL area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.

Learn More on How to Become an X-Ray Technician in Birmingham

Choose the Best Birmingham X-Ray Technician School

Choosing the appropriate x-ray tech college is an important first step toward launching a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the workday and position and at times lift the patient to get 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 medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and provide the best available patient care. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you participate in an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each college so you can focus your options and make your final choice. And with the right education and your motivation to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiographer in Birmingham Alabama.




 

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