How to Select an X-Ray Tech School near Huntsville Alabama
Congratulations on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Huntsville AL in order to learn to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have made a decision to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about choosing the ideal school and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified professional? And considering that the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you might need training to pass a licensing examination. So it’s essential that you assess each of the colleges you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. A number of prospective students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into consideration, there are other critical qualifiers as well. For example, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the colleges you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let’s talk about what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and training options that are available.
Radiology Tech Career Summary
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the same primary job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They may practice in Huntsville AL clinics, hospitals, family 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
Radiographers must take care of their equipment plus regularly evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Huntsville AL medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees Available
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the choice 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 finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable also. Something to consider is that Huntsville AL radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be working you may have to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many approve additional options for testing also. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous Huntsville AL employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it may increase your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Degrees
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges 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 online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is often conducted in local family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Huntsville AL home. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually find that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently less expensive than conventional options. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be decreased as well. But just make sure that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
After you have decided on the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of searching for and evaluating Huntsville AL x-ray technician colleges. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be an important factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you factor in when reviewing schools? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? Most radiology tech schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still important to confirm that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed examination of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized 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 obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Huntsville AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the Alabama xray tech schools you are reviewing have associations with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Huntsville AL health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that initial job in a new field can be difficult without support. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Huntsville AL healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Huntsville AL home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide 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 generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Huntsville AL colleges you are looking at 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 ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the x-ray tech school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in Huntsville AL, make sure 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 have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Radiologic Technologist?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask radiographer applicants is "What drove you to select radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for being a radiology technician, but additionally what attributes and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to radiography, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should ready a number of ideas about how you want to answer them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Enroll in the Ideal X-Ray Tech Program near Huntsville AL
Picking the ideal x-ray technician college is a critical first step toward starting a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As we have discussed in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are looking at before making your final decision. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each program so you can narrow down your options before making your decision. And with the proper training and your commitment to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Huntsville AL.
Some Background on Huntsville Alabama
Huntsville is a city located primarily in Madison County in the Appalachian region of northern Alabama. Huntsville is the county seat of Madison County. The city extends west into neighboring Limestone County. Huntsville's population was 180,105 as of the 2010 census. Huntsville is the third-largest city in Alabama and the largest city in the five-county Huntsville-Decatur-Albertville, AL Combined Statistical Area, which at the 2013 census estimate had a total population of 683,871. The Huntsville Metropolitan Area's population was 417,593 in 2010 to become the 2nd largest in Alabama. Huntsville metro's population reached 441,000 by 2014.
It grew across nearby hills north of the Tennessee River, adding textile mills, then munitions factories, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and the United States Army Aviation and Missile Command nearby at the Redstone Arsenal. The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Huntsville to its "America's Dozen Distinctive Destinations for 2010" list.
The first settlers of the area were Muscogee-speaking people. The Chickasaw traditionally claim to have settled around 1300 after coming east across the Mississippi. A combination of factors, including depopulation due to disease, land disputes between the Choctaw and Cherokee, and pressures from the United States government had largely depopulated the area prior to Revolutionary War veteran John Hunt's arrival and settlement in the land around the Big Spring in 1805. The 1805 Treaty with the Chickasaws and the Cherokee Treaty of Washington of 1806 ceded native claims to the United States Government. The area was subsequently purchased by LeRoy Pope, who named the area Twickenham after the home village of his distant kinsman Alexander Pope.
Twickenham was carefully planned, with streets laid out on the northeast to southwest direction based on the Big Spring. However, due to anti-British sentiment during this period, the name was changed to "Huntsville" to honor John Hunt, who had been forced to move to other land south of the new city.
Both John Hunt and LeRoy Pope were Freemasons and charter members of Helion Lodge #1, the oldest Lodge in Alabama.
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