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Xray Tech Schools
 How to Find the Right One Near Birmingham Alabama

Birmingham Alabama x ray technician and physician reviewing x-raySo you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Birmingham AL in order to learn to be a radiology technician. But exactly how do you accomplish locating and selecting the right school and program so that you are properly trained and prepared to begin your career of providing quality healthcare services? And depending on where you eventually choose to practice, you may have to pass a licensing test since most states do require that x-ray techs become licensed. So it's important that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Many prospective students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost must be considered, there are other significant qualifications as well. For example, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. Later in this article we will provide a detailed list of questions that you should ask the X-ray Tech colleges you are evaluating before making your ultimate selection. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the degrees and education choices that are available.

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

Radiology Technician Occupation Description

There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the identical primary job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They can practice in Birmingham AL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might work with include:

  • Traditional and specialized X-Rays
  • Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Sonography or ultrasound
  • Fluoroscopy

Radiographers have to maintain their equipment plus routinely analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.

Radiology Technician Degrees Offered

Birmingham Alabama x-ray technician reviewing x rayThe primary prerequisite for attending a radiology tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to finish and is more expansive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Birmingham AL or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.

Radiographer Licensing and Certification

After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, based on the state where you will be working you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so check with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several accept additional alternatives for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. However, numerous Birmingham area employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it could improve your career options in and around Birmingham AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.

Online Radiology Technologist Degrees

Birmingham Alabama woman enrolled in online x ray tech classesAs 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 colleges. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is usually carried out in Birmingham AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your Birmingham residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are often cheaper than traditional options. Along with lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be reduced as well. But just make certain that the online school you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online school may be the best option for you.

Points to Ask Radiology Tech Schools

Once you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of finding and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Birmingham AL. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be an important variable as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you factor in when reviewing schools? 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 before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are considering.

Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? A large number of radiology tech colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still important to confirm that the program and school 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 earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive examination of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting organizations 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 assist in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Birmingham AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level jobs.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the radiology technician programs you are assessing have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Birmingham AL health care community and help with job placement.

Is Job Placement Help offered? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Birmingham AL in a new field can be difficult without support. Find out if the radiographer programs you are assessing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Birmingham AL home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble 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 choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student 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 permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Birmingham AL colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program also.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the xray tech  college you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Birmingham AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

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

Choose the Best Birmingham X-Ray Tech Program

Choosing the right x-ray technician school is an important first step toward beginning a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As has been addressed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are considering before making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each program so you can narrow down your options and make your final choice. And with the proper training and your motivation to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Birmingham Alabama.




 

Birmingham Radiologic Technologist Schools | Birmingham X Ray Technician Courses