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Xray Technician Training Programs
 How to Pick the Best One Near Mobile Alabama

Mobile Alabama x ray technician and physician examining x-rayYou are about to embark on a career path that will be satisfying both personally and economically as a medical professional when you enroll in an X-ray technician school near Mobile AL. But exactly how do you go about locating and choosing the right school and degree program so that you are properly trained and ready to take up the challenge of providing superior healthcare services? And because the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it’s important that you compare the schools on your short list by evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of each of their X-ray technician programs. To start, one of the important qualifications that many future students focus in on when beginning their search is how far the schools are from their homes. Cost is obviously important, and students often gravitate toward the school with the lowest tuition. But while location and cost should be considered, there are additional critical qualifiers as well. As an example, you should ask if the schools sponsor internship programs, or if the radiology technician schools have one or more accreditations. Below we will provide a detailed list of questions that you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and education options that are available.

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

X-Ray Tech Occupation Summary

There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the identical fundamental job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They may work in Mobile AL hospitals, clinics, family 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 maintain their equipment and routinely assess its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.

X-Ray Technician Degrees Offered

Mobile Alabama radiology technician reviewing x rayThe primary prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to complete and is more expansive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are acceptable as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may often be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Mobile AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.

X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification

When you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be practicing you might need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so check with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several provide additional alternatives for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, numerous Mobile area employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it may improve your career options in and around Mobile AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.

Online Radiology Tech Classes

Mobile Alabama woman enrolled in online x ray tech classesAs a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a significant amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is usually performed in Mobile AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Mobile home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often find that the online style of learning is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are often more affordable than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just make sure that the online college you select 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 an online school may be the best option for you.

Questions to Ask Radiographer Programs

As soon as you have selected the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of finding and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Mobile AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are reviewing.

Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? Most radiology technician colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still important to verify that the school and program 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). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous review of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Mobile AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level openings.

Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the xray tech schools you are reviewing have partnerships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Mobile AL health care community and help with obtaining employment.

Is Job Placement Help provided? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in Mobile AL in a new field can be challenging without support. Find out if the radiographer schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Mobile AL residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally 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 keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps 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 usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Mobile AL colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. 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 converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the radiographer  program you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Mobile AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Learn More on How to Become an X-Ray Tech in Mobile

Enroll in the Right Mobile Radiology Tech Program

Selecting the right x-ray tech school is an important first step toward launching 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 greater part of the day and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As has been covered in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you decide on an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each school so you can focus your choices before making your final choice. And with the right education and your motivation to succeed, you can realize your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Mobile Alabama.




 

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