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X Ray Tech Degree Programs
 How to Find the Right One Near Decatur Alabama

Decatur Alabama x ray technician and physician examining 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 tech school near Decatur AL. But now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you go about selecting the ideal school and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And based on where you eventually choose to practice, you may have to pass a licensing exam since the majority of states do mandate that x-ray technicians be licensed. So it's essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. To start, one of the important qualifications that many 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 there are other important criteria besides location and cost that should be part of the decision making process as well. For instance, you should inquire about the sponsoring of internship programs, or if the radiology technician schools have one or more accreditations. Later in this article we will provide a detailed list of questions that you need to ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating before making your final selection. But first, let's explore what a radiology tech does and the degrees and training options that are available.

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X-Ray Tech Work Description

X-ray technicians are a kind of radiologic technologist, which is a medical professional specializing in using diagnostic imagery equipment. X-ray technicians can be found preparing patients for imaging procedures, operating and maintaining equipment, and collaborating with physicians to read the results of an imaging scan. More than half of all radiologic techs work in hospitals, however X-ray techs are needed in many types of Decatur AL medical facilities, including physician offices, immediate care centers and diagnostic laboratories. Depending on the facility, some X-ray technicians will be called on to work holidays, weekends or overnight to care for patients in emergency situations. An X-ray technician’s job location also has some bearing on their daily job functions. They can work at clinics where they may ask health background questions, take patient’s vital measurements and perform basic 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 techs to work in medical facilities that match their scheduling needs, interests and specialties.

Radiology Tech Degrees Available

Decatur Alabama radiology technician examining x rayThe basic prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, 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 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are acceptable as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may often be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Decatur AL or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.

Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing

After you have graduated from an Radiologist college, depending on the state where you will be employed you may need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many accept additional alternatives for testing as well. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, many Decatur area employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options in and around Decatur AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.

Online X-Ray Technologist Programs

Decatur Alabama woman attending online x ray technician classesAs a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So while you can still earn your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is typically provided in Decatur AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Decatur residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are often less expensive than traditional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be lessened as well. But just confirm that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages 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 choice for you.

Subjects to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges

After you have selected the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of looking for and assessing x-ray tech schools near Decatur AL. You will also need to determine if you want to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important variable also. But along with cost and location, what more should you consider when reviewing colleges? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are assessing.

Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? Most xray technician colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still important to verify 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). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Decatur AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level jobs.

Are Internships Provided? Find out if the radiology tech schools you are reviewing have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Decatur AL healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.

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

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Decatur AL home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Decatur AL colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.

Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech  college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Decatur AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

Find Out How to Become an Radiology Technician in Decatur

Choose the Right Decatur Radiology Technician School

Choosing the best radiology technician school is a crucial first step toward launching a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs often stand for the majority of the working day and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As has been covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are considering before making your final decision. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each program so you can narrow down your options and make your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your dedication to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiographer in Decatur Alabama.




 

Decatur X Ray Technician Courses | Decatur Radiology Tech Programs