How to Choose an X-Ray Tech Program near Fultondale Alabama
Congratulations regarding your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Fultondale AL so you can learn to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle picking the right school and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s important that you assess each of the schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Many prospective students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into account, there are additional critical qualifications also. For instance, you should find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the colleges you are examining are provided later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a radiology technician does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
Radiology Technician Job Summary
There are a number of professional titles 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 fundamental job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They can work in Fultondale AL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment and also frequently analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Fultondale AL medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees
The basic prerequisite for attending a radiology tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to complete and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate also. Something to bear in mind is that Fultondale AL radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can frequently be satisfied by taking part in an externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in their region. 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.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist program, based on the state where you will be working you may need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number provide additional options for testing also. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, many Fultondale AL employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may improve your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Schools
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So while you can still obtain your degree online, a considerable amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is typically performed in local family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your Fultondale AL residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree often find that the online approach to education is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are generally less costly than conventional options. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be reduced also. But just be sure that the online program you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online school may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
When you have selected the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of finding and evaluating Fultondale AL x-ray tech colleges. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a material factor also. But along with location and cost, what more should you consider when comparing schools? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? The majority of radiology technician colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still important to make sure 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 earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Fultondale AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the Alabama radiology technician colleges you are interested in have associations with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Fultondale AL medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in a new profession can be challenging without help. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Fultondale AL healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Fultondale 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 area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Fultondale AL colleges you are considering 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 ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray technician program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the x-ray tech college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in Fultondale AL, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Radiologic Technologist?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's important to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask radiographer applicants is "What made you choose radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the private reasons you might have for being an Xray technician, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to radiography, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to organize some ideas about how you want to address them. Since there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the ideal choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down some ideas and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Pick the Right Radiology Tech School near Fultondale AL
Selecting the right radiology technician degree program is a critical first step toward launching a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs typically stand for the greater part of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As has been addressed in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are considering before making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online school or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can focus your choices and make your decision. And with the proper training and your commitment to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Fultondale AL.
Some Background on Fultondale Alabama
Fultondale is a city in Jefferson County, Alabama, United States and a northern suburb of Birmingham. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 8,380.
Fulton was a mining town in the 1900s. Fulton was incorporated in 1947. The town's name is derived from the combination of the names of two nearby communities, Fulton Springs and Glendale.
This area was once known as Fulton Springs. Prior to the building of Interstate 65, US 31 was the main route for travelers northbound from Birmingham towards Nashville, Tennessee. As a result, hotels such as the Keystone Lodge and Buchmann Motor Inn prospered. On the city's southern edge was located one of the few drive-in theatres in the Birmingham area (the "Skyview"). This was torn down when I-65 was built in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Pine Bowl bowling alley is still a long time fixture in the city.Traces of the old routing of US 31 are still noticeable in the city. From just south of the city hall to an old bridge on this city's northern side, most of this old routing is known as Stouts Road or in some cases simply "old US 31."
Fultondale was a relatively stagnant community until the last decade. Growth has occurred in residential areas mainly west of Interstate 65, while retail development has focused along and near the I-65/Walkers Chapel Road exit.
Fultondale is located at 33°36′55″N 86°48′5″W / 33.61528°N 86.80139°W / 33.61528; -86.80139 (33.615202, -86.801293).
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