How to Choose the Best Xray Technician College near Florence Alabama
So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Florence AL in order to learn to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have made a decision to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you set about selecting the ideal college and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And since most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you might need training to pass a licensing test. So it’s imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Most potential students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and frequently settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into consideration, there are other important qualifications also. For instance, you should find out if 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 examining are presented later in this post. But first, let’s talk about what a radiology tech does and the degrees and education options that are offered.
Radiology Technician Job Summary in Florence AL
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the same fundamental job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They can work in Florence AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may work with 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 frequently analyze its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options near Florence AL
The basic prerequisite for attending a radiology tech college is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to four years to finish and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are acceptable as well. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may often be fulfilled by participating in an externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Florence 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.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, based on the state where you will be working you might need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many approve other alternatives for testing as well. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many Florence area employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase your career options in and around Florence AL to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Programs
As a component of any 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 while you can still earn your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is usually conducted in Florence AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the comfort of your Florence home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online approach to education is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are often cheaper than traditional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be reduced as well. But just make certain that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online school may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
When you have selected the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech schools near Florence AL. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important factor as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you factor in when evaluating colleges? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray tech colleges have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still important to make sure 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive review of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Florence AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the radiology technician schools you are reviewing have relationships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Florence AL healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Florence AL in a new profession can be challenging without help. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Florence AL home. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something 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 may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Florence AL colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Florence AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Colleges That Offer X Ray Tech Programs Florence AL
Enrolling in the ideal x-ray tech college is an important first step toward beginning a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the working day and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best available patient care. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Colleges That Offer X Ray Tech Programs and wanting more information on the topic Accredited Radiology Technician Programs. However, as we have covered in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are assessing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you participate in an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate 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 practice as a radiologic technologist in Florence AL.
Other Alabama Diagnostic Locations
Florence is the largest and principal city of the Florence-Muscle Shoals Metropolitan Statistical Area (which includes Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia metropolitan areas in Colbert and Lauderdale counties). Florence is considered northwestern Alabama's primary economic hub.
Annual tourism events include the W. C. Handy Music Festival in the summer and the Renaissance Faire in the fall. Landmarks in Florence include the Rosenbaum House, the only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home located in Alabama.
Florence and Lauderdale County had one hospital, Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital. ECM was a 358-bed facility owned by RCCH HealthCare Partners in Brentwood, Tennessee. In 2010 RCCH HealthCare Partners announced that they would build a new hospital in Florence. The hospital was completed in December 2018.