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Xray Technician Colleges
 How to Select the Best One Near Huntsville Alabama

Huntsville Alabama x ray tech and doctor examining x-raySo you have decided to enroll in an X-ray technician school near Huntsville AL so you can train to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you tackle selecting the right school and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And considering that most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you might require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it's important that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. A number of students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But there are other important criteria apart from cost and location that should be part of the decision making process as well. For example, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others that you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.

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

X-Ray Technician Job Summary

X-ray technicians are a type of radiologic technologist, which is a medical professional that specializes in using equipment to take diagnostic imagery of patients. X-ray technicians can be found preparing patients for imaging procedures, maintaining and operating equipment, and working with physicians to interpret the results of an imaging scan. More than half of all radiologic techs are employed in hospitals, however X-ray technicians are important providers in many types of Huntsville AL healthcare facilities, to include physician offices, immediate care centers and diagnostic laboratories. Although it varies by facility, some X-ray technicians may need to work evenings, weekends and even holidays to care for patients in emergency situations. An X-ray tech’s work environment also has some impact 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 a large facility, they may use fluoroscopy to provide assistance during surgical procedures. There are plenty of options for X-ray technicians to work in healthcare facilities that meet their scheduling needs, interests and specialties.

X-Ray Technician Degrees Available

Huntsville Alabama x-ray technician reviewing x rayThe standard requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. 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 requires 18 months to two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to consider is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Huntsville AL or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.

X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing

Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, depending on the state where you will be working you may need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number offer additional options for testing as well. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, many Huntsville area employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it might increase your career options in and around Huntsville AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.

Online Radiology Technologist Programs

Huntsville Alabama female student attending online radiology tech classesAs a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree colleges. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is typically performed in Huntsville AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training may be attended in the privacy of your Huntsville home. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically find that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are often less costly than on-campus options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be lessened also. But just make certain that the online school you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the best choice for you.

Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs

As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Huntsville AL. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be an important factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are reviewing.

Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of radiology technician schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still important to confirm that the school and program 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 obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Huntsville AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level openings.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the radiology tech schools you are reviewing have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Huntsville AL medical community and help with obtaining employment.

Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in Huntsville AL in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and sought after.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Huntsville 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 concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Huntsville AL schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program as well.

Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the radiographer  college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Huntsville AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

Find Out How to Become an X-Ray Technician in Huntsville

Enroll in the Right Huntsville X-Ray Tech Program

Choosing the appropriate x-ray technician degree program is a crucial first step toward starting a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the day and position and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As has been discussed in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can narrow down your options and make your decision. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Huntsville Alabama.




 

Huntsville Radiologic Technician Schools | Huntsville Radiology Tech Schools