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X-Ray Tech Degree Programs
 How to Select the Best One Near Birmingham Alabama

Birmingham Alabama x ray tech and physician reviewing x rayYou are about to embark on a career path that will be rewarding both personally and economically as a medical specialist when you enroll in an X-ray technician school near Birmingham AL. But now that you have decided to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle choosing the ideal school and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And based on where you ultimately decide to practice, you will likely have to pass a licensing exam since the majority of states do stipulate that x-ray techs become licensed. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. To start, one of the important qualifications that most future students hone in on when starting their search is the distance the schools are from their homes. Cost is also important, and students too often settle on the school with the lowest tuition. But while cost and location should be taken into consideration, there are other critical qualifications as well. As an example, you should ask if the schools sponsor internship programs, or if the radiology tech schools have received any accreditations. These inquiries and others that you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let's discuss the degrees and training options that are available.

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Radiology Tech Degrees

Birmingham Alabama radiology tech examining x rayThe standard requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree 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 program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to complete and is more extensive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which many schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Birmingham AL or their region. Once 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.

X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification

After you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be employed you might have to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so contact your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many provide other alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous Birmingham area employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options in and around Birmingham AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.

Online Radiology Technician Classes

Birmingham Alabama woman attending online radiology technician coursesAs a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So although you can still earn your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is usually performed in Birmingham AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your Birmingham home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online style of education is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently less costly than traditional options. Along with lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be decreased also. But just make sure that the online school you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the ideal option for you.

Points to Ask Radiographer Schools

When you have decided on the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate 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 drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a material variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you need to check out if the schools 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 Colleges Accredited? Most radiology tech schools have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still crucial to verify that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected 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 gone through an extensive examination of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a quality 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 certification and licensing as required. And many Birmingham AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level positions.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the xray tech schools you are reviewing have associations with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Birmingham AL health care community and assist with obtaining employment.

Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in Birmingham AL in a new profession can be challenging without help. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Birmingham AL home. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern 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 college that is out of state or even 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 commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized 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 ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the xray tech  school you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Birmingham AL area, make sure 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 carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

Find Out How to Become an Radiology Technician in Birmingham

Choose the Best Birmingham Radiology Tech Program

Selecting the best radiology technician degree program is a crucial first step toward starting a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the working day and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements developed 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. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As has been covered in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are considering before making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you opt for an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the right education and your motivation to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiographer in Birmingham Alabama.




 

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