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Xray Tech Degree Programs
 How to Enroll in the Right One Near Birmingham Alabama

Birmingham Alabama x ray tech and doctor reviewing x-rayYou are about to start down a career path that will be satisfying both personally and economically as a medical specialist when you enroll in an X-ray tech school near Birmingham AL. But exactly how do you accomplish locating and choosing the best college and degree program so that you are fully trained and prepared to take up the challenge of providing superior healthcare services? And based on where you ultimately decide to practice, you may need to pass a licensing exam since most states do stipulate that x-ray techs be licensed. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. A number of students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But there are additional important criteria besides location and cost that must be part of the decision making process as well. For instance, you should inquire about the sponsoring of internship programs, or if the radiology tech schools have received any accreditations. Later in this article we will provide a detailed list of questions that you should ask the X-ray Technician programs you are evaluating prior to making your ultimate selection. But first, let's discuss what a radiology technician does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.

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

Radiology Tech Job Summary

X-ray techs are a type of radiologic technologist, which is a medical professional that specializes in using equipment to take diagnostic imagery of patients. X-ray techs are tasked with readying patients for imaging procedures, maintaining and operating equipment, and collaborating with doctors to read the results of an imaging scan. Over half of all radiologic techs are employed in hospitals, however X-ray techs are needed in a number of different Birmingham AL medical facilities, to include clinics, diagnostic labs and urgent care centers. Depending on the facility, some X-ray techs may need to work evenings, weekends and even holidays to care for patients in emergency situations. An X-ray technician’s work location also has some bearing on their routine job functions. They can work at clinics where they may triage patients by taking their vitals, ask medical history questions and perform simple lab procedures. In larger facilities, they may assist during surgical procedures with the use of fluoroscopy. There are a number of options for X-ray technicians to work in healthcare facilities that meet their scheduling needs, interests and specialties.

Radiology Tech Degrees Offered

Birmingham Alabama radiology technician examining x rayThe standard prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to complete and is more expansive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can frequently be satisfied by participating in an externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Birmingham AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.

X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing

When you have graduated from an Radiologist program, based on the state where you will be practicing you might need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several approve additional alternatives for testing also. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is optional. However, many Birmingham area employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it could enhance 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 comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.

Online X-Ray Technician Colleges

Birmingham Alabama female student enrolled in online radiology technician classesAs a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So while you can still earn your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is often provided in Birmingham AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Birmingham residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically discover that the online approach to education is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are often more affordable than traditional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be reduced also. But just confirm that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the right option for you.

Subjects to Ask Radiographer Schools

Once you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of searching for and assessing x-ray tech schools near Birmingham AL. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a material factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you consider when comparing schools? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are looking at.

Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? Most radiology tech schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still important to verify that the school and program 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). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive assessment of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. 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 help in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Birmingham AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level positions.

Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the radiology technician schools you are assessing have partnerships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Birmingham AL health care community and help with obtaining employment.

Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in Birmingham AL in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they select will need to be within driving distance of their Birmingham AL home. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college 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 often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Birmingham AL colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech  school you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Birmingham AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

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

Enroll in the Right Birmingham X-Ray Technician School

Selecting the best x-ray tech degree program is a crucial first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the workday and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As we have addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are considering prior to making your final decision. This is just as true whether you decide on an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can focus your options before making your decision. And with the appropriate training and your dedication to be successful, you can achieve your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Birmingham Alabama.




 

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