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X-Ray Tech Programs
 How to Find the Best One Near Decatur Alabama

Decatur Alabama x ray technician and doctor reviewing x raySo you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Decatur AL so you can become a radiology technician. And now that you have decided to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you tackle choosing the ideal school and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And depending on where you eventually choose to practice, you may have to pass a licensing exam since the majority of states do stipulate that x-ray techs become licensed. So it’s important that you compare the colleges you are considering 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 starting their search is how far the schools are from their homes. Cost is also a consideration, and students too often settle on the school with the lowest tuition. But there are additional important criteria besides cost and location that should be part of the due diligence process as well. For instance, you should inquire about the sponsoring of internship programs, or if the radiology tech schools have received any accreditations. Below we will give you a complete list of questions that you need to ask the X-ray Technician programs you are evaluating before making your ultimate selection. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and education options that are offered.

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

Radiology Technician Work Description

There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They can practice in Decatur AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician 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 routinely analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.

X-Ray Tech Degree Options

Decatur Alabama x-ray tech examining x rayThe standard prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are appropriate as well. Something to consider is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may often be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Decatur AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.

X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification

After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, based on the state where you will be working you might have to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number provide other alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous Decatur area employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it may improve your career options in and around Decatur AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.

Online X-Ray Technician Classes

Decatur Alabama woman attending online radiology technician classesAs a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree schools. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is typically conducted in Decatur AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your Decatur home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often find that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are generally less expensive than traditional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be decreased as well. But just be sure that the online program you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the ideal option for you.

Subjects to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges

After you have selected the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Decatur AL. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material variable as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you factor in when evaluating colleges? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are looking at.

Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? The majority of radiology technician schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still crucial to verify that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. 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 assist in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Decatur AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level openings.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the xray technician programs you are evaluating have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Decatur AL medical community and help with job placement.

Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in Decatur AL in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the radiographer schools 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 substantial networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Decatur AL home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Decatur AL colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some 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  college you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Decatur 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 have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

More Info on How to Become an Radiology Tech in Decatur

Enroll in the Right Decatur Radiology Technician School

Picking the right x-ray technician degree program is a crucial first step toward launching a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the majority of the workday and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As we have covered in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are assessing before making your final selection. This is equally true whether you opt for an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each college so you can focus your choices before making your final choice. And with the right education and your dedication to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiographer in Decatur Alabama.




 

Decatur Radiology Technician Schools | Decatur Radiologic Technician Schools