How to Find the Right Xray Tech Degree Program near Decatur Alabama
So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Decatur AL in order to learn to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about selecting the right college and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And considering that most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you may need training to pass a licensing test. So it’s essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Most students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost should be taken into consideration, there are other critical qualifications as well. For instance, you must ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating 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.
Radiology Tech Occupation Summary in Decatur AL
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the identical principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They can practice in Decatur AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might 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 regularly assess its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Offered near Decatur AL
The basic requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to finish and is more extensive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Decatur AL or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might need to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several approve additional alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many Decatur area employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase your career options in and around Decatur AL to become certified. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Schools
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a significant amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is typically conducted in Decatur AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training can be attended in the comfort of your Decatur home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often find that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are often less expensive than on-campus alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be lessened also. But just make sure 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 formalized style of training, then an online school may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiographer Colleges
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of finding and assessing x-ray tech schools near Decatur AL. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material factor as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you consider when comparing schools? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of xray tech schools have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it’s still crucial to verify that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies 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 college is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Decatur AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the xray tech schools you are reviewing have relationships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Decatur AL healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in Decatur AL in a new field can be challenging without help. Find out if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Decatur AL home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Decatur AL colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the xray tech school you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Decatur AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out 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 might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Online X Ray School Decatur AL
Selecting the best radiology tech degree program is an important first step toward starting a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the working day and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements 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 interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Online X Ray School and wanting more information on the topic Accredited X Ray Tech Schools. However, as we have covered in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can focus your choices and make your decision. And with the appropriate education and your motivation to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Decatur AL.
Other Alabama Diagnostic Locations
Decatur is a city in Morgan and Limestone counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. The city, nicknamed "The River City", is located in Northern Alabama on the banks of Wheeler Lake, along the Tennessee River. It is the largest city and county seat of Morgan County. The population in 2010 was 55,683.
Decatur is also the core city of the two-county large Decatur, Alabama metropolitan area which had an estimated population of 153,374 in 2013. Combined with the Huntsville Metropolitan Area, the two create the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area, of which Decatur is the second-largest city.
Like many southern cities in the early 19th century, Decatur's early success was based upon its location along a river. Railroad routes and boating traffic pushed the city to the front of North Alabama's economic atmosphere. The city rapidly grew into a large economic center within the Tennessee Valley and was a hub for travelers and cargo between Nashville and Mobile, as well as Chattanooga and New Orleans. Throughout the 20th century, the city experienced steady growth, but was eclipsed as the regional economic center by the fast-growing Huntsville during the space race. The city now finds its economy heavily based on manufacturing, mining, cargo transit, chemical, and high-tech companies such as Vulcan Materials,Daikin,Toray, and United Launch Alliance.