How to Choose an Xray Tech Degree Program near Saraland Alabama
Congrats on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Saraland AL in order to learn to be a radiology technician. And now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle selecting the right school 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 technicians become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it’s essential that you research each of the schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Most potential students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be taken into consideration, there are additional significant qualifications also. For example, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the schools you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and training choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Career Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the identical principal 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 treating cancer. Many choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They can practice in Saraland AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician 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 and also routinely evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also expected to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Saraland AL medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees Offered
The primary requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, generally takes 18 months to two years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to complete and is more expansive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable as well. One thing to consider is that Saraland AL radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, depending on the state where you will be working you may need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several provide other alternatives for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous Saraland AL employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could improve your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Classes
As a component 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 programs. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is typically provided in area family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your Saraland AL residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically discover that the online style of education is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are generally less costly than on-campus options. Along with lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be lessened as well. But just confirm that the online program you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of locating and evaluating Saraland AL x-ray tech colleges. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important factor as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you look at when evaluating schools? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? The majority of radiology tech colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it’s still crucial to confirm that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive review of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Saraland AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the Alabama xray technician colleges you are assessing have relationships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Saraland AL healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in a new profession can be difficult without support. Find out if the radiographer schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Saraland AL healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Saraland AL residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern 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 school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Saraland AL schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in Saraland AL, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses 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 Decide to Be an X-Ray Tech?When prepping to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that recruiters frequently ask radiographer applicants is "What compelled you to select radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming an X-Ray tech, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to radiography, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must ready several approaches about how you would like to answer them. Because there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the talents you have that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Enroll in the Best X-Ray Tech School near Saraland AL
Enrolling in the right radiology tech degree program is a critical first step toward initiating a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the workday and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs 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 good work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As has been covered in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are looking at prior to making your final selection. This is just as true whether you participate in an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices before making your final choice. And with the proper training and your commitment to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiographer in Saraland AL.
Some Background on Saraland Alabama
Saraland is a city in Mobile County, Alabama, United States, and a suburb of Mobile. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 13,405. It is a part of the Mobile metropolitan area. Saraland is the third largest city in Mobile County.
Saraland is located at 30°49′31″N 88°5′31″W / 30.82528°N 88.09194°W / 30.82528; -88.09194 (30.825186, -88.091932).
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 22.0 square miles (57 km2), of which 21.9 square miles (57 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.50%) is water.
The land area that was to become the present-day Saraland, was included in a Spanish land grant to Don Diego Alvarez. Hence, descendants of Alvarez were the ones to give the community its first name: Alvarez Station. Later land squatters moved into the area and were able, legally, in 1800 to begin purchasing property. In 1807, a land office was opened in St. Stephens to handle all land transactions. Some of the pioneer families who seized the opportunity to buy up sections were named Alvarez, Rice, Hartley, Moore, LaCoste, Williams, Tool and Cleveland. Ultimately, Alvarez Station was called Cleveland Station. The present name of the city is reported to have been given by C.J. DeWitt, a retired minister editor who moved south in 1890 for health reasons. He opened the first post office on the Southern Railroad in 1895. The community is purported to be the namesake of his beloved wife, Sara.
Saraland was sparsely populated during the first part of the 20th century, until an industrial and population boom occurred in neighboring Mobile. Northward expansion of Mobile in the 1940s and 50s brought about the incorporation of Saraland in 1957. At the time of incorporation, the city reported only 125 residents. By the 1960 U.S. Census, annexations had swelled the population to 4,595. In 1980, census figures cited 9,844 Saraland residents. Current census records report that as of 2000, Saraland's population has grown to 12,288.
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