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X-Ray Tech Programs
 How to Select the Best One Near Tuscaloosa Alabama

Tuscaloosa Alabama x ray technician and doctor examining 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 tech school near Tuscaloosa AL. But now that you have decided to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake choosing the ideal college and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified professional? And considering that most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you may need training to pass a licensing test. So it’s important that you compare the colleges on your short list by evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of each of their X-ray technician programs. Many students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Cost is obviously important, and students often gravitate toward the school with the most affordable tuition. But there are other important criteria aside from location and cost that should be part of the decision making process as well. As an example, you should ask if the schools sponsor internship programs, or if the radiology tech colleges have received any accreditations. Later in this article we will give you a detailed list of questions that you should ask the X-ray Tech colleges you are evaluating before making your final selection. But first, let's discuss what a radiology tech does and the degrees and training options that are available.

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

Radiology Technician Work Summary

There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the identical principal job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They can work in Tuscaloosa AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech 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 care for their equipment and also regularly evaluate 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 Tech Degree Options

Tuscaloosa Alabama radiology tech examining x rayThe primary prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, generally requires 18 months to two years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to complete 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 consider is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may often be fulfilled by taking part in an externship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Tuscaloosa AL or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.

Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification

Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, based on the state where you will be working you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number approve additional alternatives for testing as well. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, many Tuscaloosa area employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it may enhance your career options in and around Tuscaloosa AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.

Online X-Ray Tech Colleges

Tuscaloosa Alabama woman enrolled in online x ray technician classesAs a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So while you can still earn your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is usually conducted in Tuscaloosa AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Tuscaloosa home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are frequently less costly than traditional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be lessened as well. But just make sure that the online program you choose 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 best choice for you.

Subjects to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools

When you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of locating and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Tuscaloosa AL. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a determining factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are assessing.

Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? The majority of radiology tech colleges have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to confirm that the program and school 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Tuscaloosa AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the radiology tech colleges you are assessing have associations with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Tuscaloosa AL healthcare community and help with job placement.

Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in Tuscaloosa AL in a new profession can be difficult without support. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Tuscaloosa AL home. Students 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 college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Tuscaloosa AL schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. 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 speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program also.

Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer  school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Tuscaloosa AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Find Out How to Become an Radiology Technician in Tuscaloosa

Enroll in the Best Tuscaloosa Radiology Technician School

Picking the appropriate x-ray technician degree program is a critical first step toward starting a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the greater part of the working day and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available patient care. As has been addressed in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are reviewing before making your final 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 analyze and compare each school so you can focus your options and make your final choice. And with the right training and your commitment to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Tuscaloosa Alabama.




 

Tuscaloosa Radiologic Technologist Schools | Tuscaloosa X Ray Technician Courses