How to Select the Best Radiology Tech College near Cullman Alabama
So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Cullman AL in order to train to be a radiology technician. But now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you set about selecting the ideal school and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And since most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. A number of potential students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost should be considered, there are other significant qualifiers as well. For instance, you need to find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this article. But first, let’s explore what a radiology technician does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Career Description in Cullman AL
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical primary job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They may practice in Cullman AL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may 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 routinely assess its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Available near Cullman AL
The standard requirement for attending a radiology tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, normally requires 18 months to two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are acceptable as well. One thing to consider is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Cullman AL or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification 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 college, based on the state where you will be employed you may have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so contact your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several provide other alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, numerous Cullman area employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase your career options in and around Cullman AL to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Programs
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical 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 amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is often carried out in Cullman AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training may be attended in the comfort of your Cullman residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically discover that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are frequently more affordable than on-campus options. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be lessened also. But just confirm that the online school you choose 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 an online degree may be the right option for you.
What to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
After you have selected the type of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of finding and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Cullman AL. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be an important variable as well. But along with location and cost, what more should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important 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 Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? A large number of radiology technician colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it’s still imperative to verify that the program and school 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive review of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it may also receive 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 obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Cullman AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the xray tech programs you are interested in have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Cullman AL health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Cullman AL in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Cullman AL home. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Cullman AL schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the xray tech college you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Cullman AL area, make sure that they are offered. 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, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
X Ray Tech College Cullman AL
Picking the right radiology tech school is a critical first step toward initiating a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the greater part of the day and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. You originally came to this website due to an interest in X Ray Tech College and wanting more information on the topic Radiologic Technologist Schools Near Me. However, as we have covered in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the right education and your dedication to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Cullman AL.
Other Alabama Diagnostic Locations
Cullman is the largest city and county seat of Cullman County, Alabama, United States. It is located along Interstate 65, about 50 miles (80 km) north of Birmingham and about 55 miles (89 km) south of Huntsville. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 14,775, with an estimated population of 15,858 in 2018.
Before European settlement, the area that today includes Cullman was originally in the territory of the Cherokee Nation. The region was traversed by a trail known as the Black Warrior's Path, which led from the Tennessee River near the present location of Florence, Alabama, to a point on the Black Warrior River south of Cullman. This trail figured significantly in Cherokee history, and it featured prominently in the American Indian Wars prior to the establishment of the state of Alabama and the relocation of several American Indian tribes, including the Creek people westward along the Trail of Tears. During the Creek War in 1813, General Andrew Jackson of the U.S. Army dispatched a contingent of troops down the trail, one of which included the frontiersman Davy Crockett.
In the 1820s and the 1830s, two toll roads were built linking the Tennessee Valley to present-day Birmingham. In 1822, Abraham Stout was given a charter by the Alabama Legislature to open and turnpike a road beginning from Gandy's Cove in Morgan County to the ghost town of Baltimore on the Mulberry Fork near Colony. The road passed near present-day Vinemont through Cullman, Good Hope, and down the current Interstate 65 corridor to the Mulberry Fork. The road was later extended to Elyton (Birmingham) in 1827. It then became known as Stout's Road. Mace Thomas Payne Brindley was given a charter in 1833 to turnpike two roads, one running between Blount Springs to Somerville by way of his homestead in present-day Simcoe, and the second road passing west of Hanceville and east of Downtown Cullman to join Stout's Road north of the city. What later became the Brindley Turnpike became an extension of Stout's Road to Decatur. Cullman later became located between the juncture of the two roads, and they predated the corridor of U.S. Route 31.