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Radiology Technician Degree Programs
 How to Find the Best One Near Huntsville Alabama

Huntsville Alabama x ray tech and physician reviewing x raySo you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray technician school near Huntsville AL so you can become a radiologic technician. But now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle choosing the right college and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might need training to pass a licensing test. So it’s critical that you compare the schools on your short list by evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of each of their X-ray tech programs. Most prospective students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Cost is also a consideration, and students too often settle on the school with the most affordable tuition. But there are other important criteria apart from location and cost that should be part of the due diligence process as well. For instance, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. Below we will provide a complete list of questions that you need to ask the X-ray Technician programs you are considering prior to making your final selection. But first, let's discuss what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and education options that are available.

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

Radiology Tech Occupation Summary

There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same major job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They can work in Huntsville AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may utilize include:

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

Radiographers have to care for their equipment and regularly 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 Technician Degrees

Huntsville Alabama radiology technician reviewing x rayThe primary requirement for attending an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may often be fulfilled by taking part in an externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Huntsville AL or their region. Once you have graduated from any 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.

Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification

When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so check with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number accept other alternatives for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, numerous Huntsville area employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might improve your career options in and around Huntsville AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.

Online Radiology Technologist Colleges

Huntsville Alabama female student enrolled in online x ray technician classesAs a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree programs. So although you can still earn your degree online, a significant amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is usually carried out in Huntsville AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Huntsville home. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually discover that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online schools are generally more affordable than on-campus alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be lessened also. But just be sure that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the ideal option for you.

Points to Ask Radiographer Programs

As soon as you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech colleges 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 obviously the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you look at when comparing schools? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are considering.

Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? Most radiology tech colleges have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to confirm that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also help in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Huntsville AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level openings.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the xray tech colleges you are evaluating have relationships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional connections in the Huntsville AL medical community and help with job placement.

Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in Huntsville AL in a new profession can be difficult without help. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Huntsville AL home. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern 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 program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Huntsville 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 a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.

Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech  college you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Huntsville AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.

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

Enroll in the Right Huntsville Radiology Tech Program

Enrolling in the best x-ray technician college is a crucial first step toward starting a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians 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 provide the best available patient care. As has been discussed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you participate in an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the right education and your motivation to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Huntsville Alabama.




 

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