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Radiology Tech Courses
 How to Choose the Best One Near Birmingham Alabama

Birmingham Alabama x ray technician and doctor reviewing x rayYou are about to start down a career path that will be satisfying both personally and monetarily as a medical professional when you enroll in an X-ray technician school near Birmingham AL. But exactly how do you accomplish locating and selecting the right school and degree program so that you are fully trained and prepared to begin your career of providing quality healthcare services? And based on where you ultimately decide to practice, you may have to pass a licensing exam since most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become 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. One of the first things that many future students focus in on when starting their search is the distance the schools are from their homes. Cost is also a consideration, and students too often settle on the school with the lowest tuition. But while expense and location should be taken into consideration, there are other critical qualifiers as well. For example, you should find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others that you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this post. But first, let's discuss the credentials and education choices that are offered.

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X-Ray Tech Degrees

Birmingham Alabama radiology tech examining x rayThe standard requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally requires 18 months to two years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to four years to finish and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are acceptable also. Something to consider is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Birmingham AL or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.

X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification

Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be working you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many provide additional alternatives for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous Birmingham area employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might enhance your career options in and around Birmingham AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.

Online X-Ray Tech Schools

Birmingham Alabama female student enrolled in online x ray tech coursesAs a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is typically conducted in Birmingham AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Birmingham home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically discover that the online style of learning is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are generally more affordable than conventional options. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be reduced also. But just confirm that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the ideal option for you.

What to Ask X Ray Tech Schools

After you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Birmingham AL. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute 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 factor in when evaluating schools? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are looking at.

Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray tech colleges have received 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). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Birmingham AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level jobs.

Are Internships Offered? Ask if the radiology technician schools you are assessing have relationships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Birmingham AL healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.

Is Job Placement Help offered? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in Birmingham AL in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the radiographer schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and in demand.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Birmingham AL residence. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern 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 college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Birmingham AL schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program as well.

Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the xray tech  school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Birmingham AL area, make sure 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, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

More Info on How to Become an Radiology Tech in Birmingham

Enroll in the Right Birmingham X-Ray Technician Program

Selecting the right x-ray tech degree program is a crucial first step toward beginning a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the day and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians 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 productive work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are considering before making your final selection. This is equally true whether you decide on an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the proper education and your commitment to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Birmingham Alabama.




 

Birmingham X Ray Technician Courses | Birmingham Radiology Tech Programs