How to Find an X-Ray Tech Degree Program near Cullman Alabama
Best wishes on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Cullman AL in order to learn to be a radiology technician. And now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about selecting the right school and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might need training to pass a licensing exam. So it’s imperative that you assess each of the schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. A number of students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into consideration, there are other critical qualifiers also. For example, you must ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you should ask the colleges you are evaluating are presented later in this post. But first, let’s discuss what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and education options that are offered.
Radiology Technician Work Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the same major job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They can work in Cullman AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to take care of their equipment and frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Cullman AL medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees Offered
The primary requirement for attending a radiology tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are appropriate as well. Something to consider is that Cullman AL radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component 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 their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, based on the state where you will be practicing you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number provide additional options for testing also. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many Cullman AL employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Degrees
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So although you can still earn your online degree, a large portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is typically conducted in regional hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your Cullman AL home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically find that the online style of education is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are often cheaper than conventional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be lessened as well. But just confirm that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
After you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of finding and assessing Cullman AL x-ray technician schools. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be an important variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you factor in when comparing colleges? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of xray technician schools have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still imperative to confirm that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it might also obtain 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. Along with guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Cullman AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the Alabama radiology technician schools you are assessing have associations with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Cullman AL healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Cullman AL healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Cullman AL residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of 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 hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Cullman AL colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on 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 opinions regarding the x-ray tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer college you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in Cullman AL, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Why Did You Choose to Become an X-Ray Tech?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that recruiters frequently ask radiographer applicants is "What drove you to pick radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the personal reasons you may have for being an X-Ray tech, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to radiography, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must prepare some approaches about how you want to address them. Given that there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Pick the Right Radiology Technician Program near Cullman AL
Selecting the best x-ray tech degree program is an important first step toward beginning a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the greater part of the day and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. 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 pleasant work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As has been discussed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. This is just as 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 program so you can focus your choices and make your decision. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Cullman AL.
Some Background on Cullman Alabama
Cullman County, Alabama
Cullman County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population was 80,406. Its county seat is Cullman. Its name is in honor of Colonel John G. Cullmann. It is a "moist" county in terms of availability of alcoholic beverages; the cities of Cullman, Good Hope and Hanceville allow sale of alcohol and are "wet" and the rest of the county is dry.
Cullman County comprises the Cullman, AL Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is a component of the Birmingham-Hoover-Talladega, AL Combined Statistical Area.
Cullman is served by TV stations and FM radio stations from both Huntsville and Birmingham. Cullman County is a part of the designated market area, or "DMA," of Birmingham. Electricity in Cullman County is provided by the Tennessee Valley Authority and by the Alabama Power Company. For a long time, telephone service in this county was provided by the Southern Bell Company.
There is no commercial air transportation service in Cullman County, and this county is no longer served by intercity commercial buses.
This area was inhabited for thousands of years by varying cultures of indigenous peoples. The historic Cherokee and Choctaw lived here at the time of European encounter, with the Cherokee moving in after the American Revolutionary War and in response to pressures from northern area. Their settlements in Alabama were known as the Lower Towns.
More Cities of Interest in Alabama