How to Select the Right X-Ray Technician School near Shelby Alabama
So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Shelby AL so you can train to be a radiology technician. And now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about picking the right college and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And since most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it’s important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. Many potential students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into consideration, there are additional important qualifications also. For example, you must find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this post. But first, let’s discuss what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
Radiology Technician Job Summary in Shelby AL
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the identical fundamental job function, 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 choose to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They can practice in Shelby AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may utilize 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 routinely evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also required to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees near Shelby AL
The standard requirement for attending a radiology tech school is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, usually takes 18 months to two years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to 4 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 as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may frequently be satisfied by participating in an externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Shelby AL or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number provide other options for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, many Shelby area employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might increase your career options in and around Shelby AL to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Programs
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree schools. So while you can still obtain your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is often conducted in Shelby AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training may be attended in the comfort of your Shelby residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online schools are often cheaper than conventional options. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be reduced also. But just make sure that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
Once you have selected the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of finding and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Shelby AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be an important factor as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you look at when comparing schools? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of xray technician colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still crucial to confirm that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets 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 quality education, accreditation will also help in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Shelby AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the radiology tech colleges you are interested in have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Shelby AL healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in Shelby AL in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the radiographer programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Shelby AL residence. Students who have decided 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. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Shelby AL schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer college you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Shelby AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Accredited Radiographer Programs Shelby AL
Selecting the appropriate radiology technician school is a crucial first step toward initiating a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best available patient care. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Accredited Radiographer Programs and wanting more information on the topic Free Info on Accredited Radiology Tech Programs. However, as has been addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are assessing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can focus your choices and make your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to be successful, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Shelby AL.
Other Alabama Diagnostic Locations
Shelby County, Alabama
Shelby County is a county located in the central portion of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census the population was 195,085. The county seat is Columbiana. The county is named in honor of Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky from 1792 to 1796 and again from 1812 to 1816.
Shelby County was established on February 7, 1818, and it was named for the Revolutionary War hero and the first Governor of Kentucky, Isaac Shelby. Beginning in 1820, the first county seat was located at Shelbyville. This settlement, long defunct, was located within the modern city limits of Pelham. The first courthouse was built of logs. The seat was moved to Columbia, now Columbiana, in 1826. Initially housed in an old school building, a new brick courthouse building was completed in 1854. It is now known as the Old Shelby County Courthouse and houses the Shelby County Museum and Archives. The current limestone courthouse was built from 1905–06, at a cost of $300,000.
Shelby County was the home of an early inland waterway, the Coosa River, and it was also the location of a very early east-west railroad in Alabama that connected Atlanta, Georgia, with locations to its west. Shelby County was also crossed by an early north-south railroad, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, that connected Louisville, Nashville, Decatur, Birmingham, and Montgomery.
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