How to Find an Xray Technician College near Alabaster Alabama
Best wishes regarding your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Alabaster AL so you can learn to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have chosen to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you undertake picking the right school and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled professional? And since most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s important that you investigate each of the colleges you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Many students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and frequently settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be considered, there are additional important qualifications also. For example, you should find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the schools you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let’s discuss what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and training choices that are available.
Radiology Technician Career Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the same fundamental job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They can practice in Alabaster AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must take care of their equipment and frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also expected to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Alabaster AL health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available
The basic requirement for attending a radiology tech school is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, normally takes 18 months to two years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to finish and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are appropriate as well. Something to keep in mind is that Alabaster AL radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may typically be fulfilled by participating in an externship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be working you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number accept additional alternatives for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, numerous Alabaster AL employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it could improve your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Programs
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So while you can still earn your online degree, a significant amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is usually provided in area hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your Alabaster AL residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are frequently less expensive than on-campus options. In addition to lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. 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 style of training, then online classes may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
When you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of searching for and assessing Alabaster AL x-ray tech colleges. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be an important factor as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of radiology technician colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it’s still important to make sure 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). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed review of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Alabaster AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the Alabama xray technician colleges you are interested in have associations with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Alabaster AL medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in a new profession can be challenging without help. Ask if the radiographer programs you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Alabaster AL healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Alabaster AL residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly 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 likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Alabaster AL schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in Alabaster AL, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Desire to Be an X-Ray Tech?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask radiographer prospects is "What made you select radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for being a radiology technician, but also what attributes and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to radiography, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must organize several approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the ideal choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Enroll in the Best X-Ray Technician College near Alabaster AL
Enrolling in the ideal radiology technician degree program is an important first step toward launching a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the workday and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As we have discussed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. This is just as true whether you participate in an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each school so you can focus your options before making your decision. And with the right education and your dedication to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Alabaster AL.
Some Background on Alabaster Alabama
Alabaster is a city and southern suburb of Birmingham in Shelby County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census, the population was 30,352. According to the 2013 Census Estimates, the city had a population of 31,342. Alabaster is the 16th largest city in Alabama (by number of residents) and still a growing population.
Alabaster is located at 33°13′52″N 86°49′26″W / 33.23111°N 86.82389°W / 33.23111; -86.82389 (33.231162, −86.823829).
Alabaster mostly occupies Cahaba and Opossum Valleys, which are divided by the Pine Ridge that runs north to south. To the east and west, both valleys are flanked by parallel mountain ridges that locally run north to south, but are a part of a larger system of ridges that generally runs north-east to south-west (the tailing ends of the Appalachian foothills). The valleys are drained by small creeks (Buck Creek, Beaverdam Creek) which flow into the Cahaba River.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 20.6 square miles (53 km2), of which 20.5 square miles (53 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.24%) is water.
George L. Scott, Sr., an Alabaster pioneer, owned and operated Alabaster Lime Co. His shipping point was known as “Scott Rock”. Later, housing was built to accommodate some of the employees, and the community acquired its name Alabaster from the "white calcium carbonate mineral". The First Bank of Alabaster opened in 1952, and its president was George L. Scott, Jr., who later became the first mayor of Alabaster. The first attempt in 1952 to incorporate Alabaster failed. In January 1953, the petition was again filed, and on February 23, 1953, Alabaster was officially incorporated with a favorable vote of 79 to 23, and 427 residing inhabitants. In 1955, the Alabaster Water and Gas Board was formed.
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