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X Ray Technician Degree Programs
 How to Pick the Right One Near Birmingham Alabama

Birmingham Alabama x ray tech and physician reviewing x rayYou are about to start down a career path that will be rewarding both personally and monetarily as a medical professional when you enroll in an X-ray technician school near Birmingham AL. But now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you undertake picking the ideal school and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled professional? And based on where you ultimately decide to practice, you may have to pass a licensing exam since the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians be licensed. So it's important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. To start, one of the important qualifications that most prospective students hone in on when beginning their search is how far the schools are from their homes. Cost is obviously important, and students too often settle on the school with the most affordable tuition. But while cost and location must be considered, there are additional important qualifications as well. For instance, you should ask if the schools sponsor internship programs, or if the radiology technician schools have one or more accreditations. These questions and others that you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this post. But first, let's discuss the credentials and education choices that are available.

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X-Ray Tech Degrees Offered

Birmingham Alabama x-ray tech reviewing x rayThe standard prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, generally requires 18 months to two years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to finish and is more extensive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable also. 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 typically be satisfied by taking part in an externship program which many schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Birmingham AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.

Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing

After you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be working you might need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several provide other options for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is optional. However, numerous Birmingham area employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options in and around Birmingham AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.

Online X-Ray Technician Schools

Birmingham Alabama female student attending online radiology technician coursesAs a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is often provided in Birmingham AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training may be attended in the privacy of your Birmingham home. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually discover that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are generally more affordable than conventional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be lessened 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 disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the best option for you.

What to Ask Radiographer Colleges

When you have selected the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of searching for and assessing x-ray technician schools near Birmingham AL. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you consider when comparing schools? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor 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 assessing.

Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? Most radiology tech schools have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still crucial to confirm that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed review of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may 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 jobs.

Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the xray tech programs you are interested in have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific 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 help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Birmingham AL health care community and help with job placement.

Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in Birmingham AL in a new field can be difficult without help. Find out if the radiographer programs you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Birmingham AL residence. 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. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Birmingham AL schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program as well.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the xray tech  program you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Birmingham AL area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.

Find Out How to Become an Radiology Technician in Birmingham

Choose the Best Birmingham X-Ray Technician Program

Choosing the appropriate x-ray technician college is a critical first step toward initiating a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray 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 good work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As has been covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are looking at before making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you decide on an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your dedication to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiographer in Birmingham Alabama.




 

Birmingham Radiology Technician Schools | Birmingham Radiologic Technician Schools