How to Select a Radiologic Technician College near Albertville Alabama
Congrats regarding your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Albertville AL so you can become a radiologic technician. And now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you undertake choosing the ideal college and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might need training to pass a licensing examination. So it’s important that you research each of the schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Most potential students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be considered, there are other important qualifiers as well. For instance, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the schools you are evaluating are provided later in this post. But first, let’s talk about what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and education options that are available.
Radiology Technician Career Summary
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same fundamental job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They may practice in Albertville AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to maintain their equipment and frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Albertville AL medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Available
The basic prerequisite for attending a radiology tech college 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 requires 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to finish and is more extensive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that Albertville AL radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, based on the state where you will be employed you may need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many provide other options for testing also. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous Albertville AL employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Programs
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical 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 amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is typically conducted in area hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Albertville AL residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently more affordable than traditional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be lessened also. But just confirm that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiographer Programs
Once you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of searching for and evaluating Albertville AL x-ray tech colleges. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you look at when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? The majority of radiology technician colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still important to confirm that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized 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 obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Albertville AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the Alabama xray tech programs you are interested in have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Albertville AL healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the radiographer schools you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Albertville AL healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Albertville AL residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Albertville AL colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray tech program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the x-ray tech school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in Albertville AL, make certain 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 illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Become an X-Ray Tech?When prepping to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's important to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask radiographer applicants is "What compelled you to pick radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a radiology technician, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to radiography, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must prepare some approaches about how you want to address them. Given that there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the best choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down several concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Select the Ideal Radiology Tech School near Albertville AL
Enrolling in the appropriate radiology technician degree program is a crucial first step toward launching a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the majority of the working day and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best possible patient care. As we have discussed in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are looking at 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 assess and compare each program so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the right training and your commitment to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to work as a x-ray tech in Albertville AL.
Some Background on Albertville Alabama
Albertville is a city in Marshall County, Alabama, United States, and is included in the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 21,160.
The area which today includes Albertville was inhabited by the Cherokee Indians until their removal to Oklahoma in the 1830s. It was, however, near the territory of the Creek nation, and several major trails which afforded communication (or military action) between the two nations crossed the area. It is believed to have been crossed by Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto during his expeditions in 1540.
During the American Civil War, the area around Albertville was the scene of several mid-level clashes between Union and Confederate forces.
The first non-indigenous settlement in what is today Albertville began in the 1850s, and the settlement was named for Thomas A. Albert, an early settler who moved from Georgia and was a town leader until his death in 1876. The city was incorporated in 1891. A post office was established in 1910.
At about 4:10 p.m. on April 24, 1908, the city was virtually wiped out by a tornado that became commonly called "The Great Cyclone," or "The Cyclone of 1908." The storm is believed to have killed 35 people across northeastern Alabama, including 15 in Albertville. Relief was largely delivered by railroad, particularly from the nearby city of Gadsden. Trains from Gadsden transported doctors, nurses, and the Queen City Guards, the Alabama militia company based in Gadsden. The commander of the latter, future Gadsden mayor and Col. R.A. Mitchell, reported in a dispatch to Governor B.B. Comer:
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