How to Select an X-Ray Technician College near Mobile Alabama
Congrats on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Mobile AL so you can train to be a radiology technician. But now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you set about selecting the ideal school and program so that you will get the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you might need preparation 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. Most students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location need to be considered, there are additional significant qualifiers as well. For example, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the colleges you are evaluating are presented later in this post. But first, let’s explore what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Job Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the same principal job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They may practice in Mobile AL clinics, hospitals, private 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 maintain their equipment and also routinely analyze its functionality and safety. They are also expected to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Mobile AL medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees
The primary requirement for attending 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 Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that Mobile AL radiographer schools 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 a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be employed you may have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements vary 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 licensing application, but a number approve other options for testing also. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, many Mobile AL employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might improve your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Tech Classes
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree programs. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is usually carried out in local hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Mobile AL home. Students who keep working while earning their degree often find that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are frequently less costly than on-campus alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be lessened 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 disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
After you have selected the type of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of finding and assessing Mobile AL x-ray tech schools. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these important details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? Most radiology tech colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still imperative to make sure that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive examination of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it may also receive 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 superior education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Mobile AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the Alabama xray technician programs you are evaluating have partnerships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Mobile AL medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job assistance 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 Mobile AL healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Mobile AL home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble 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 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 generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Mobile AL colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the x-ray technician program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the x-ray tech school you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in Mobile AL, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Desire to Become an Xray Technician?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers often ask radiographer prospects is "What compelled you to pick radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being an X-Ray tech, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to radiography, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to prepare some ideas about how you would like to address them. Considering there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the talents you have that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the best choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down several concepts and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Enroll in the Right X-Ray Tech Program near Mobile AL
Choosing the best x-ray tech college is an important first step toward starting a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the day and position and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology 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 good work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As we have covered in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are considering before making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can narrow down your options and make your decision. And with the proper education and your dedication to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiographer in Mobile AL.
Some Background on Mobile Alabama
Mobile (/moʊˈbiːl/ moh-BEEL; French pronunciation: [mɔ.bil]) is the county seat of Mobile County, Alabama, United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 as of the 2010 United States Census, making it the third most populous city in Alabama, the most populous in Mobile County, and the largest municipality on the Gulf Coast between New Orleans, Louisiana, and St. Petersburg, Florida.
Alabama's only saltwater port, Mobile is located at the head of the Mobile Bay and the north-central Gulf Coast. The Port of Mobile has always played a key role in the economic health of the city beginning with the city as a key trading center between the French and Native Americans down to its current role as the 12th-largest port in the United States. Mobile is the principal municipality of the Mobile metropolitan area. This region of 412,992 residents is composed solely of Mobile County; it is the third-largest metropolitan statistical area in the state. Mobile is the largest city in the Mobile-Daphne−Fairhope CSA, with a total population of 604,726, the second largest in the state. As of 2011[update], the population within a 60-mile (100 km) radius of Mobile is 1,262,907.
Mobile began as the first capital of colonial French Louisiana in 1702. During its first 100 years, Mobile was a colony of France, then Britain, and lastly Spain. Mobile first became a part of the United States of America in 1813, with the annexation of West Florida under President James Madison. In 1861, Alabama joined the Confederate States of America, which surrendered in 1865.
As one of the Gulf Coast's cultural centers, Mobile has several art museums, a symphony orchestra, a professional opera, a professional ballet company, and a large concentration of historic architecture. Mobile is known for having the oldest organized Carnival celebrations in the United States. The festival began to be celebrated in the first decade of the 18th century by its first French Catholic colonial settlers. Mobile was host to the first formally organized Carnival mystic society, known elsewhere as a krewe, to celebrate with a parade in the United States, beginning in 1830.
The city gained its name from the Mobile tribe that the French colonists encountered living in the area of Mobile Bay. Although debated by Alabama historians, they may have been descendants of the Native American tribe whose small fortress town, Mabila, was used to conceal several thousand native warriors before an attack in 1540 on the expedition of Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto. The Mobile tribe, along with the Tohomé, obtained permission from the colonists, about seven years after the founding of the Mobile settlement, to settle near the fort.
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