How to Pick the Best X Ray Tech College near Helena Alabama
So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Helena AL in order to learn to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you go about selecting the ideal college and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And considering that most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you might require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it’s important that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Many students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and often gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into consideration, there are other significant qualifications as well. For instance, you must ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are presented later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Work Description in Helena AL
There are a number of 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 principal job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They may work in Helena 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 routinely evaluate its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees near Helena AL
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, normally requires 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 finish and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are acceptable also. Something to consider is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Helena AL or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be working you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria vary so check with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number provide additional options for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous Helena area employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it could improve your career options in and around Helena AL to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Schools
As a part of every 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 even though you can still earn your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is often performed in Helena AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your Helena residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically discover that the online approach to education is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are generally cheaper than on-campus alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. But just make sure that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
When you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of finding and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Helena AL. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material factor as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you consider when evaluating schools? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? Most radiology technician schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it’s still crucial to confirm that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Helena AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the xray tech colleges you are assessing have associations with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Helena AL health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in Helena AL in a new profession can be challenging without help. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the school they select will have to be within driving distance of their Helena AL residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Helena AL colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the xray tech program you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Helena AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist School Helena AL
Picking the appropriate radiology tech degree program is an important first step toward initiating a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist School and wanting more information on the topic Where to Find Accredited Radiology Technician Schools. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are considering prior to making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can narrow down your options before making your decision. And with the proper training and your dedication to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiographer in Helena AL.
Other Alabama Diagnostic Locations
Helena (pronunciation hel-LE-nah) is a city in Jefferson and Shelby counties in the state of Alabama. Helena is considered a suburb of Birmingham and part of the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 census, the population was 16,793.
Helena is highly regarded as a place to live and raise children; Business Week ranked the city as the 13th "Best Place to Raise Your Kids" in 2007. It has the eighth-lowest crime rate per population in the U.S., and the city was ranked in Money magazine's 2007 list of "Best Places to Live: Top 100" in the U.S., placing at number 91. The Alabama League of Municipalities awarded Helena the 2008 Municipal Achievement Award (population 10,001 to 20,000).
Helena initially incorporated in 1877, but reincorporated in 1917 after errors were discovered in the initial incorporation papers. Its population was not recorded separately in the U.S. Census until 1920, reflecting the later date of incorporation.
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