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Radiologic Tech Training Programs
 How to Pick the Best One Near Birmingham Alabama

Birmingham Alabama x ray tech and physician examining x-rayYou are about to embark on a career path that will be rewarding both personally and monetarily as a medical specialist when you enroll in an X-ray technician school near Birmingham AL. But just how do you accomplish locating and choosing the right college and program so that you are fully trained and ready to begin your career of providing quality healthcare services? And because the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you might require training to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. One of the first things that most future students hone in on when starting their search is the distance the schools are from their homes. Next, they compare tuition and usually settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be considered, there are additional important qualifiers as well. For instance, you must find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. Below we will provide a complete list of questions that you should ask the X-ray Tech colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. But first, let's talk about what a radiology technician does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.

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X-Ray Technician Job Description

There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same fundamental job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They can practice in Birmingham AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may utilize include:

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

Radiographers have to take care of their equipment and routinely evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.

X-Ray Tech Degrees Offered

Birmingham Alabama radiology technician reviewing x rayThe primary requirement for attending a radiology tech program is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, usually requires 18 months to two years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to complete and is more extensive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may frequently be satisfied by participating in an externship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Birmingham AL or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.

Radiographer Licensing and Certification

After you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be employed you might need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several accept other alternatives for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous Birmingham area employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may enhance your career options in and around Birmingham AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.

Online Radiology Tech Classes

Birmingham Alabama female student enrolled in online x ray tech classesAs a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So although you can still earn your degree online, a considerable amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is often conducted in Birmingham AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the comfort of your Birmingham residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are generally less expensive than conventional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be reduced as well. But just confirm that the online school 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 school may be the right option for you.

Points to Ask X Ray Tech Programs

When you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of finding and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Birmingham AL. You will also have 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 relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be an important factor also. But along with cost and location, what more should you consider when reviewing colleges? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are reviewing.

Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray 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 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 a rigorous examination of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might 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 Internships Provided? Inquire if the xray technician programs you are reviewing have relationships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Birmingham AL healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.

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 challenging without support. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Birmingham AL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Birmingham AL colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. 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 speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.

Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the radiographer  program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Birmingham AL area, check 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 have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

Find Out How to Become an Radiology Tech in Birmingham

Choose the Right Birmingham Radiology Technician Program

Selecting the right radiology tech college is a critical first step toward initiating a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs regularly 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 demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are considering before making your final selection. This is just as true whether you decide on an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Birmingham Alabama.




 

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