How to Select a Radiology Tech College near Tuscaloosa Alabama
Congratulations regarding your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Tuscaloosa AL in order to learn to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you undertake selecting the ideal 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 subsequently work you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s essential that you assess each of the colleges you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. A number of potential students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and usually settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location should be considered, there are other significant qualifications as well. For example, you should find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the colleges you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let’s explore what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and training choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the same principal job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They can work in Tuscaloosa AL hospitals, clinics, 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 have to care for their equipment and frequently analyze its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Tuscaloosa AL medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Available
The standard prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech college 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 common among techs, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at as much as four years to complete and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable also. Something to consider is that Tuscaloosa AL radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can typically be satisfied by taking part in an externship program which many schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be practicing you may need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements 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 exam for the licensing application, but many approve other options for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, numerous Tuscaloosa 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 accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Classes
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So although you can still earn your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is usually carried out in area 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 Tuscaloosa AL residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online approach to education is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are frequently less costly than traditional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be decreased also. But just confirm that the online school you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
When you have decided on the type of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of searching for and assessing Tuscaloosa AL x-ray tech colleges. You will also need to determine if you want to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you consider when reviewing schools? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? Most radiology tech colleges have earned some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still crucial to make sure that the program and school 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 undergone a rigorous review of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Tuscaloosa AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the Alabama radiology tech programs you are reviewing have associations with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Tuscaloosa AL healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that initial job in a new field can be difficult without help. Ask if the radiographer programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Tuscaloosa AL healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Tuscaloosa AL home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern 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 college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Tuscaloosa 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 final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the radiographer school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in Tuscaloosa AL, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check 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 Desire to Become an X-Ray Tech?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers frequently ask radiographer candidates is "What made you pick radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming an Xray technician, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to radiography, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to organize some approaches about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the ideal choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Enroll in the Ideal Radiology Technician College near Tuscaloosa AL
Choosing the best radiology technician school is an important first step toward launching a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the day and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As we have covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are looking at before making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online school or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each program so you can focus your choices and make your decision. And with the right education and your commitment to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a x-ray tech in Tuscaloosa AL.
Some Background on Tuscaloosa Alabama
Tuscaloosa (/tʌskəˈluːsə/ TUSK-ə-LOO-sə) is a city in and the seat of Tuscaloosa County in west central Alabama (in the southeastern United States). Located on the Black Warrior River at the Atlantic Seaboard fall line of the Piedmont, it is the fifth-largest city in Alabama, with an estimated population of 99,543 in 2016.
Incorporated as a town on December 13, 1819, it was named after Tuskaloosa, the chieftain of a Muskogean-speaking people who battled and was defeated by forces of Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto in 1540 in the Battle of Mabila. It served as Alabama's capital city from 1826 to 1846.
Tuscaloosa is the regional center of industry, commerce, healthcare, and education for the area of west-central Alabama known as West Alabama. It is the principal city of the Tuscaloosa Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Tuscaloosa, Hale and Pickens counties and has an estimated metro population in 2013 of 235,628. Tuscaloosa is also the home of The University of Alabama, Stillman College and Shelton State Community College. While the city attracted international attention when Mercedes-Benz announced it would build its first automotive assembly plant in North America in Tuscaloosa County, the University of Alabama remains the dominant economic and cultural engine in the city.
Tuscaloosa has been traditionally known as the "Druid City" because of the numerous water oaks planted in its downtown streets since the 1840s. The city has also become known nationally for the University of Alabama's success in sports, and particularly in football. City leaders adopted the moniker "The City of Champions" after the Alabama Crimson Tide football team won the BCS National Championship in their 2009, 2011, and again in their 2012 seasons. The Tide won the College Football Playoff in the 2015 season.
In 2008, the City of Tuscaloosa hosted the USA Olympic Triathlon trials for the Beijing Games.
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