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X-Ray Technician Training Programs
 How to Find the Best One Near Birmingham Alabama

Birmingham Alabama x ray technician and physician reviewing x rayYou are about to embark on a career path that will be rewarding both personally and financially as a medical professional when you enroll in an X-ray tech school near Birmingham AL. But exactly how do you accomplish finding and choosing the right college and degree program so that you are fully trained and ready to take up the challenge of providing quality healthcare services? And since most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might need training to pass a licensing examination. So it’s critical that you compare the schools on your short list by evaluating the pros and cons of each of their X-ray tech programs. To start, one of the important qualifications that many prospective students hone in on when beginning their search is the distance the schools are from their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location should be taken into consideration, there are other important qualifiers as well. For instance, you should inquire about the sponsoring of internship programs, or if the radiology tech schools have received any accreditations. These questions and others that you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.

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

Radiology Technician Job Description

There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the identical primary job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They may work in Birmingham AL hospitals, clinics, 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
  • Fluoroscopy

Radiographers must take care of their equipment plus frequently evaluate its performance and safety. They are also required to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.

Radiology Tech Degrees Available

Birmingham Alabama radiology technician examining x rayThe standard prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech college is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to complete and is more expansive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate as well. Something to consider is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which many schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Birmingham AL or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.

Radiographer Certification and Licensing

When you have graduated from an Radiologist program, based on the state where you will be employed you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number accept other options for testing also. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, numerous Birmingham area employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it might increase your career options in and around Birmingham AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved 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 education, or by passing an examination.

Online X-Ray Technician Programs

Birmingham Alabama female student enrolled in online x ray technician coursesAs a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree colleges. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a large portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is often performed in Birmingham AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training can be attended in the comfort of your Birmingham home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online approach to education is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less costly than conventional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be decreased also. But just make certain that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the best choice for you.

Subjects to Ask Radiology Tech Programs

As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Birmingham AL. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be an important variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these important details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are assessing.

Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? Most xray technician schools have received some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still crucial to make sure that the school and program 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). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive assessment of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets 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 ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Birmingham AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level openings.

Are Internships Offered? Ask if the xray technician programs you are interested in have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Birmingham AL healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.

Is Job Placement Help available? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in Birmingham AL in a new field can be challenging without support. Ask if the radiographer schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their success 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 highly regarded and in demand.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Birmingham AL residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Birmingham AL schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program also.

Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the xray tech  program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Birmingham AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

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

Choose the Best Birmingham X-Ray Tech Program

Enrolling in the ideal x-ray tech school is a crucial first step toward initiating a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs typically stand for the greater part of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed 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 social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As has been addressed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each school so you can focus your options before making your decision. And with the appropriate education and your motivation to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Birmingham Alabama.




 

Birmingham Radiology Tech Schools | Birmingham Schools For X Ray Techs