How to Choose a Radiologic Tech Degree Program near Hartselle Alabama
Best wishes on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Hartselle AL so you can become a radiology technician. And now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about picking the right school and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And because most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you might need training to pass a licensing exam. So it’s imperative that you assess each of the schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Most students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location must be taken into consideration, there are other important qualifiers as well. For example, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the schools you are considering are presented later in this post. But first, let’s explore what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Work Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical primary job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They can practice in Hartselle AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist 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 take care of their equipment and regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Hartselle AL health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available
The primary requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, generally requires 18 months to two years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable also. One thing to consider is that Hartselle AL radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can often be satisfied by participating in an externship program which many colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many approve additional options for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous Hartselle AL employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it may enhance your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Programs
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree colleges. So although you can still earn your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is often performed in area hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your Hartselle AL residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are often cheaper than on-campus alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be reduced as well. But just make certain that the online school you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
As soon as you have selected the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of locating and assessing Hartselle AL x-ray tech colleges. You will also need to decide if you want to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be an important factor as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these essential 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 Technician Programs Accredited? Most xray technician schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still crucial to confirm 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). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Hartselle AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the Alabama radiology technician programs you are reviewing have associations with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Hartselle AL health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the radiographer schools you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Hartselle AL healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Hartselle AL residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Hartselle AL colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. 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 speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the x-ray tech college you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in Hartselle AL, confirm 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 enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Become a Radiology Technician?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. Among the questions that recruiters typically ask radiographer applicants is "What drove you to decide on radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a radiology technician, but additionally what attributes and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to radiography, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should ready several strategies about how you want to address them. Because there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the ideal choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down several concepts and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Select the Best Radiology Tech Program near Hartselle AL
Choosing the ideal x-ray technician school is a crucial first step toward beginning a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the greater part of the working day and position and at times lift the patient to get the correct 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. X-Ray technicians 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 productive work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As has been covered in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are assessing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each program so you can focus your choices before making your final choice. And with the right education and your dedication to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Hartselle AL.
Some Background on Hartselle Alabama
Hartselle is the second largest city in Morgan County, Alabama, United States, about 10 miles (16 km) south of Decatur, and is included in the Decatur Metropolitan Area, and the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area.
As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of the city was 14,255. Hartselle was founded in 1870 with the arrival of the South and North Alabama Railroad. It takes its name from George Hartsell, one of the railroad's owners. The post office opened in 1873. It was formally incorporated on March 1, 1875. Most of the oldest buildings were destroyed by a disastrous fire in 1916.
Hartselle is located at 34°26′25″N 86°56′25″W / 34.44028°N 86.94028°W / 34.44028; -86.94028Coordinates: 34°26′25″N 86°56′25″W / 34.44028°N 86.94028°W / 34.44028; -86.94028 (34.440383, -86.940385).
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.9 square miles (39 km2), of which 14.9 square miles (39 km2) is land and 0.07% is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 12,019 people, 4,816 households, and 3,534 families residing in the city. The population density was 809.0 people per square mile (312.3/km²). There were 5,170 housing units at an average density of 348.0 per square mile (134.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.25% White, 5.16% Black or African American, 0.63% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.33% from other races, and 1.31% from two or more races. 1.29% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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