How to Find a Radiology Technician College near Muscle Shoals Alabama
Best wishes regarding your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Muscle Shoals AL in order to become a radiologic technologist. And now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you undertake choosing the right school and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you may need training to pass a licensing exam. So it’s essential that you investigate each of the colleges you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Many potential students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and frequently settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location should be considered, there are other critical qualifications as well. For example, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you should ask the schools you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let’s discuss what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Career Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the identical fundamental job description, which is to employ 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. Some elect to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They may practice in Muscle Shoals AL hospitals, clinics, private 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 have to care for their equipment and frequently assess its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Muscle Shoals AL health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Offered
The basic requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, generally 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 four years to complete and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are acceptable also. Something to bear in mind is that Muscle Shoals AL radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their area. Once 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 working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number provide other alternatives for testing also. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, many Muscle Shoals AL employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Programs
As a part 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 schools. So while you can still earn your degree online, a large amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is usually performed in area family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online segment of the training may be attended in the privacy of your Muscle Shoals AL home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically discover that the online style of education is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are generally more affordable than traditional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be decreased as well. But just be sure that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
Once you have chosen the type of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of finding and assessing Muscle Shoals AL x-ray tech colleges. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be an important variable as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? The majority of xray technician colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still crucial to verify that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed review of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Muscle Shoals AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the Alabama xray technician schools you are reviewing have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Muscle Shoals AL medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that initial job in a new profession can be challenging without support. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Muscle Shoals AL healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Muscle Shoals AL residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something 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 commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Muscle Shoals AL colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the radiographer school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in Muscle Shoals AL, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Decide to Be an X-Ray Tech?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters frequently ask radiographer prospects is "What made you choose radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming an X-Ray tech, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to radiography, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready some ideas about how you would like to address them. Considering there are so many variables that go into selecting 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 in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the best candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Choose the Ideal Radiology Tech College near Muscle Shoals AL
Choosing the ideal x-ray technician college is an important first step toward beginning a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs often stand for the majority of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs 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 provide the best available patient care. As has been covered in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are assessing prior to making your final selection. This is equally true whether you opt for an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the appropriate training and your motivation to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a x-ray tech in Muscle Shoals AL.
Some Background on Muscle Shoals Alabama
Muscle Shoals, Alabama
Muscle Shoals is the largest city in Colbert County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of Muscle Shoals was 13,146. The estimated population in 2015 was 13,706.
Both the city and the Florence-Muscle Shoals Metropolitan Area (including four cities in Colbert and Lauderdale counties) are commonly called "the Shoals".Northwest Alabama Regional Airport serves the Shoals region, located in the northwest section of the state.
Due to its strategic location along the Tennessee River, Muscle Shoals played a key role in historic land disputes between Native Americans and Anglo-American settlers in the late 1700s and early 1800s. It was also the site of an attempted community development project by Henry Ford in 1922. Since the 1960s, the city has been known for music – developing the "Muscle Shoals Sound", as local recording studios (including FAME Studios in the late 1950s and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in 1969) produced hit records that shaped the history of popular music. The original streets of Muscle Shoals were named after streets in Detroit, Michigan due to Henry Ford's influence in the area. Ford Motor Company operated a plant in the Listerhill community 3 miles east of Muscle Shoals for many years before closing in 1982. Just like Detroit, Woodward Avenue is the main road through the city. Henry Ford's inability to acquire land from the Tennessee Valley Authority foiled his desire to create a 75-mile Industrial Megalopolis from Decatur to the Tri-State border of Pickwick Lake.
There are several explanations on how the city got its name. One is that the city gets its name from a former natural feature of the Tennessee River, namely a shallow zone where mussels were gathered. When the area was first settled, the distinct spelling "mussel" to refer to a shellfish had not yet been fully adopted.
The city is one of four municipalities known as the Quad Cities, the others being Florence, Sheffield and Tuscumbia, all in Alabama.
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