How to Select an Xray Technician College near Gardendale Alabama
Best wishes regarding your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Gardendale AL so you can train to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you set about selecting the right college and program so that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And since the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you may need training to pass a licensing examination. So it’s essential that you investigate each of the schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. A number of prospective students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost must be taken into consideration, there are other critical qualifiers also. For instance, you should find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you should ask the schools you are reviewing are presented later in this post. But first, let’s explore what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
Radiology Technician Job Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the same principal job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for example mammography. They can work in Gardendale AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to maintain their equipment and frequently analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Gardendale AL medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degree Options
The basic prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, usually requires 18 months to two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to four years to finish and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate as well. One thing to consider is that Gardendale AL radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can frequently be satisfied by taking part in an externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be practicing you might need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many provide other alternatives for testing also. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, many Gardendale AL employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Programs
As a part of every 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 even though you can still obtain your online degree, a significant amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is usually provided in regional family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training may be attended in the comfort of your Gardendale AL residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually discover that the online approach to education is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are often more affordable than traditional options. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be reduced as well. But just be sure that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
Once you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of locating and assessing Gardendale AL x-ray tech schools. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you factor in when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out 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 assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of xray tech schools have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it’s still imperative to verify that the school and program 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). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive assessment of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Gardendale AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the Alabama radiology tech colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Gardendale AL healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Gardendale AL healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Gardendale AL home. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. 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 normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Gardendale AL schools you are considering what the average 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 decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the x-ray tech program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the x-ray tech program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in Gardendale AL, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Why Did You Choose to Be an Xray Technician?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's important to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters typically ask radiographer candidates is "What drove you to pick radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for being a radiology technician, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to radiography, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to organize some ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Choose the Ideal Radiology Tech Program near Gardendale AL
Selecting the right x-ray technician college is a critical first step toward starting a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate 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. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As we have addressed in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each school so you can focus your choices and make your decision. And with the proper training and your motivation to be successful, you can realize your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Gardendale AL.
Some Background on Gardendale Alabama
Gardendale is a city in Jefferson County, Alabama, United States and a northern suburb of Birmingham. The population was 13,893 at the 2010 census.
A large farm settlement near the area today known as Gardendale was settled around 1825. Some years later, other settlers began to move into the community commonly known as Jugtown, a name given to the area based on the presence of a large jug and churn factory that operated in the area. Some years later, Hettie Thomason Cargo, a school teacher, would lead a campaign to change the name of the community. In 1906, the name Gardendale was selected, and in 1955, the City of Gardendale was officially incorporated. Today, with more than 13,000 residents (estimated), the city of Gardendale has grown to include more than 400 businesses, 4 schools, and 24 churches.
In 1996, the Olympic torch run passed through the city during the weeks leading up to the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta. Before Interstate 65 was constructed, the main route between Nashville, Tennessee and Birmingham, Alabama was U.S. Route 31. Prior to being built as a four-lane road, U.S. 31 was a twisting two-lane road that is still largely visible today. From the north end of Gardendale, it is now Snow Rogers Road, North Road, Moncrief Road, and then Main Street southward through the city to the Fultondale city limit where it becomes Stouts Road. In the fall of 2008, new signs were placed along the original route of Stouts Road through Gardendale denoting its historical significance as a stagecoach route between Tennessee and Birmingham during the 19th century. The first traffic signals in the city were located along U.S. 31 at Tarrant Road, Fieldstown Road, and Moncrief Road as well as Tarrant Road at Pineywood Road. A new signal at the intersection of Fieldstown Road and Main Street near city hall replaced a blinking signal shortly thereafter. Fieldstown Road was a narrow two lane road from U.S. 31 westward until Interstate 65 was built and then Fieldstown Road was re-routed onto the new road in the mid-1980s. An abundance of traffic signals have been erected in the city since those early days. In approximately 1970, the city installed street lights along U.S. 31 from the Fultondale city limits northward to the Moncrief Road intersection. The technology at that time was for blue vapor lights. Today, nearly 40 years later those same blue vapor lights still exist with some being replaced with the more modern bulbs near major intersections. Since 1980, Gardendale has annexed considerable amounts of land on the north, east, and west sides. Much of the eastern area is uninhabited. The western annexation is centered along Fieldstown Road. Most of the newest residential development has been in this area and along Shady Grove Road south of Fieldstown Road. The northern annexation has centered along US 31 and extends nearly 2 miles (3.2 km) farther north than 1980. The city has a working historical society, established January 23, 2006, that is working to record the history of the Gardendale area. They have a museum that is open to the public on Saturday mornings each week. It contains a variety of photographs, documents, and other historical memorabilia from Gardendale.
Gardendale is located at 33°39′36″N 86°48′46″W / 33.66000°N 86.81278°W / 33.66000; -86.81278 (33.6601033, -86.8127702). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.0 square miles (47 km2), all land. However, with the recent annexation of several thousand acres from the community of Mt. Olive and other unincorporated areas, the city now has an estimated total area of around 25.0 square miles (65 km2). Gardendale is situated along one of the three major transportation corridors from the Midwest to the Gulf Coast (I-75, I-65, I-55). A tremendous volume of freight (via rail and truck) passes through or near Gardendale.
Gardendale is served by two major north-south highways: Interstate 65 and U.S. 31. A new interstate highway, Interstate 22 will run northwestward from I-65 near Gardendale towards Memphis, Tennessee. This freeway is open from Coalburg Road near Fultondale just southwest of Gardendale to Memphis. Another future road project is the Northern Beltline which will run from Interstate 59 near Argo westward across northern Jefferson County, crossing I-65 on the northern edge of Gardendale. This highway is currently designated to become Interstate 422. This route is some 15–20 years away from completion. Major east/west roads in Gardendale include Fieldstown Road (there has been some discussion of requesting a state highway designation for this road between US 31 and I-65 and perhaps westward towards I-22) which runs from U.S. 31 in Gardendale westward, Tarrant Road which runs from the city eastward, and Mt. Olive Road which runs northwestward from the city. Another future road project may be an extension of Fieldstown Road east of U.S. 31 to connect to the Castle Pines development (which is in the city but only accessible via a roundabout route nearly 10 miles (16 km) long) and then across New Castle Road, and then further east to connect to Carson Road. Gardendale is located in an area that once yielded large amounts of coal. Gardendale is located at the southwestern end of one of the Appalachian ridgelines running from eastern Tennessee into northeast Alabama. Several old and closed coal mines exist in the area as well as lands that were once strip mined and then replanted for forests. No major waterways are located in Gardendale but several streams feed into the Locust Fork of the Black Warrior River that passes north and west of the city. Much of the land inside the city limits on the east and northeast sides of Gardendale is rocky and hilly with deep ravines. This portion of the city is sparsely populated and has limited access by road. The only major rail line passing near Gardendale is a north/south track passing on the eastern edge of the city from Boyles Yard near Tarrant paralleling New Castle Road northward towards Blount County. This rail line carries freight and is not a passenger line. The nearest passenger train service is by Amtrak at the Birmingham station 10 miles (16 km) south of Gardendale. Commercial air travel is located at the nearby Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.
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