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Radiology Technician Schools
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X Ray Tech Degree Programs
 How to Select the Right One Near Homewood Alabama

Homewood Alabama x ray technician and doctor examining x raySo you have decided to enroll in an X-ray technician school near Homewood AL in order to train to be a radiology technologist. But exactly how do you accomplish finding and choosing the best college and program so that you are properly trained and ready to begin your career of providing superior healthcare services? And based on where you eventually choose to practice, you may need to pass a licensing test since most states do require that x-ray techs become licensed. So it's imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Most students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Cost is also important, and students often gravitate toward the school with the lowest tuition. But there are additional important qualifications apart from location and cost that must be part of the decision making process as well. For example, you must ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. Below we will give you a complete list of questions that you should ask the X-ray Technician colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the degrees and education choices that are available.

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

Radiology Technician Occupation Summary

There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the same major job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They can work in Homewood AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might work with include:

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

Radiographers must maintain their equipment plus frequently analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.

Radiology Technician Degrees Offered

Homewood Alabama x-ray tech reviewing x rayThe basic prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school is to have attained 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 typical among technicians, generally takes 18 months to two years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish and is more expansive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which many schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Homewood AL or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.

X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing

Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, depending on the state where you will be working you may have to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so check with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several provide additional options for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, many Homewood area employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might improve your career options in and around Homewood AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.

Online X-Ray Tech Degrees

Homewood Alabama woman attending online radiology technician classesAs a component of any 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 schools. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is usually provided in Homewood AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your Homewood home. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically discover that the online style of education is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are generally less expensive than conventional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. But just make sure that the online school you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the right choice for you.

Questions to Ask Radiographer Schools

After you have selected the type of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of searching for and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Homewood AL. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining factor as well. But along with location and cost, what more should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are considering.

Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of xray technician colleges have received 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 respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Homewood AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the xray tech programs you are evaluating have partnerships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Homewood AL health care community and assist with obtaining employment.

Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that initial job in Homewood AL in a new field can be difficult without help. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are assessing have job placement programs and what their placement 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 students are highly regarded and sought after.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Homewood AL residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Homewood AL schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. 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 converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.

Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the xray tech  program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Homewood AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

Learn More on How to Become an Radiology Technician in Homewood

Choose the Best Homewood X-Ray Tech School

Enrolling in the appropriate x-ray tech college is a critical first step toward initiating a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the day and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As has been addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are assessing before making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you opt for an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the appropriate training and your motivation to be successful, you can achieve your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Homewood Alabama.




 

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