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X Ray Technician Programs
 How to Select the Best One Near Mountain Brook Alabama

Mountain Brook Alabama x ray technician and doctor reviewing x-rayYou are about to start down a career path that will be rewarding both personally and financially as a medical specialist when you enroll in an X-ray technician school near Mountain Brook AL. But now that you have decided to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you go about choosing the ideal college and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you might require training to pass a licensing exam. So it’s critical that you compare the schools you are considering by assessing the strengths and weaknesses of each of their X-ray technician programs. A number of prospective students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Cost is also a consideration, and students too often settle on the school with the lowest tuition. But while location and cost should be taken into account, there are additional important qualifiers as well. For example, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. Later in this article we will give you a complete list of questions that you need to ask the X-ray Tech colleges you are evaluating before making your ultimate selection. But first, let's discuss what a radiology technician does and the degrees and education options that are available.

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

X-Ray Tech Job Description

There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the same major job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They can work in Mountain Brook AL clinics, hospitals, 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 care for their equipment plus regularly assess its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.

Radiology Tech Degree Options

Mountain Brook Alabama radiology technician reviewing x rayThe primary requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have received 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, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to complete and is more extensive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Mountain Brook AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.

Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification

After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, based on the state where you will be employed you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several provide additional options for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many Mountain Brook area employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options in and around Mountain Brook AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.

Online X-Ray Tech Degrees

Mountain Brook Alabama woman attending online radiology tech coursesAs a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is typically performed in Mountain Brook AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training may be attended in the comfort of your Mountain Brook home. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically find that the online approach to education is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently more affordable than conventional options. Along with reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be decreased also. But just be sure that the online program you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the right option for you.

Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges

When you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Mountain Brook AL. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important variable also. But along with cost and location, what more should you factor in when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are reviewing.

Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? Most radiology technician colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still crucial to verify that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous review of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Mountain Brook AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level positions.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the xray tech colleges you are interested in have associations with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Mountain Brook AL medical community and help with job placement.

Is Job Placement Help provided? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Mountain Brook AL in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and in demand.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Mountain Brook AL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry 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 school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Mountain Brook AL schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.

Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the xray tech  program you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Mountain Brook AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.

Find Out How to Become an X-Ray Technician in Mountain Brook

Choose the Best Mountain Brook Radiology Technician School

Choosing the right radiology tech degree program is a critical first step toward launching a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the day and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As we have discussed in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are considering before making your final decision. This is equally true whether you participate in an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Mountain Brook Alabama.




 

Mountain Brook X Ray Technician Courses | Mountain Brook Radiology Tech Programs