How to Find the Right X Ray Tech School near Birmingham Alabama
So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Birmingham AL so you can learn to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about choosing the ideal college and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you might need training to pass a licensing test. So it’s important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Many students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into consideration, there are additional significant qualifiers also. For instance, you should find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a radiology tech does and the credentials and education options that are available.
X-Ray Tech Career Summary in Birmingham AL
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the identical fundamental job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They can work in Birmingham AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to take care of their equipment and also regularly analyze its functionality and safety. They are also required to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Available near Birmingham AL
The basic requirement for attending a radiology tech school is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, normally requires 18 months to two years to finish depending on the course load and program. 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 other related majors that may be acceptable also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Birmingham AL or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be employed you may need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several offer other options for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous Birmingham area employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it may increase your career options in and around Birmingham AL to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Programs
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree schools. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is typically carried out in Birmingham AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your Birmingham home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically find that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are often more affordable than traditional options. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be lessened as well. But just confirm that the online college you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiographer Schools
As soon as you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of finding and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Birmingham AL. You will also have to decide if you want 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 price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important factor also. But along with location and cost, what more should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray tech colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still crucial to confirm 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). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed examination of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Birmingham AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the xray technician programs you are interested in have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional connections in the Birmingham AL healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in Birmingham AL in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Birmingham AL residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Birmingham AL schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the xray tech college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Birmingham AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Radiology Tech Degree Birmingham AL
Enrolling in the right radiology technician college is a critical first step toward initiating a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Radiology Tech Degree and wanting more information on the topic X Ray Technician Bachelor Degree. However, as we have covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are looking at prior to making your final selection. This is just as true whether you decide on an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can focus your choices before making your decision. And with the right education and your motivation to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Birmingham AL.
Other Alabama Diagnostic Locations
Birmingham (/ˈbɜːrmɪŋhæm/ BUR-ming-ham) is a city in the north central region of the U.S. state of Alabama. With an estimated 2018 population of 209,880, it is the most populous city in Alabama. Birmingham is the seat of Jefferson County, Alabama's most populous and fifth largest county. As of 2018, the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 1,151,801, making it the most populous in Alabama and 49th-most populous in the United States. Birmingham serves as an important regional hub and is associated with the Deep South, Piedmont, and Appalachian regions of the nation.
Birmingham was founded in 1871, during the post-Civil War Reconstruction era, through the merger of three farm towns, most notably Elyton. The new city was named for Birmingham, England, the UK's second largest city and, at the time, a major industrial center. The Alabama city annexed smaller neighbors and developed as an industrial center, based on mining, the new iron and steel industry, and rail transport. Most of the original settlers who founded Birmingham were of English ancestry. The city was developed as a place where cheap, non-unionized immigrant labor (primarily Irish and Italian), along with African-American labor from rural Alabama, could work in the city's steel mills and blast furnaces, giving it a competitive advantage over unionized industrial cities in the Midwest and Northeast.:14
From its founding through the end of the 1960s, Birmingham was a primary industrial center of the southern United States. Its rapid growth from 1881 through 1920 earned it the nicknames "The Magic City" and "The Pittsburgh of the South". Its major industries were iron and steel production. Major components of the railroad industry, rails and railroad cars, were manufactured in Birmingham. Since the 1860s, the two primary hubs of railroading in the "Deep South" have been Birmingham and Atlanta. The economy diversified in the latter half of the 20th century. Banking, telecommunications, transportation, electrical power transmission, medical care, college education, and insurance have become major economic activities. Birmingham ranks as one of the largest banking centers in the U.S. Also, it is among the most important business centers in the Southeast.
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