How to Find an X-Ray Technician Program near Sheffield Alabama
Congrats on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Sheffield AL in order to learn to be a radiologic technologist. And now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you go about choosing the ideal college and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And since most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you might need training to pass a licensing examination. So it’s essential that you investigate each of the schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Many potential students begin 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 account, there are additional significant qualifications as well. For example, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the schools you are reviewing are presented later in this post. But first, let’s talk about what a radiology technician does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Technician Career Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the identical primary job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They can work in Sheffield AL hospitals, clinics, 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 must take care of their equipment plus frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Sheffield AL medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degree Options
The primary prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech college is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, usually takes 18 months to two years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to finish and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to consider is that Sheffield AL radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may typically be satisfied by taking part in an internship or 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 certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be working you might need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so check with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number accept additional alternatives for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. However, many Sheffield AL employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it could improve your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Programs
As a component 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 schools. So while you can still earn your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is usually performed in area hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Sheffield AL home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to education is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are often less costly than conventional options. Along with lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be lessened also. But just make sure that the online college you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
Once you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of finding and assessing Sheffield AL x-ray tech schools. You will also have to decide if you prefer 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 critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be an important variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? The majority of radiology technician colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still important to verify that the school and program 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). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it can also obtain 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. Besides ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Sheffield AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the Alabama xray tech schools you are assessing have relationships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Sheffield AL healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in a new profession can be challenging without support. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Sheffield AL healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Sheffield AL home. 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 importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Sheffield AL schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the x-ray tech college you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in Sheffield AL, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check 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 may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Become an X-Ray Tech?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's a good idea to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask radiographer candidates is "What drove you to choose radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a radiology technician, but also what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to radiography, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you must prepare some strategies about how you want to address them. Since there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try 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 best choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Choose the Right Radiology Tech College near Sheffield AL
Choosing the ideal x-ray technician degree program is a crucial first step toward beginning a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the working day and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As has been discussed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are assessing before making your final decision. This is equally 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 choices before making your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Sheffield AL.
Some Background on Sheffield Alabama
Sheffield is a city in Colbert County, Alabama, United States, and is included in the Shoals metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 9,039. Sheffield is the birthplace of "country-soul pioneer" and songwriter Arthur Alexander, French horn player Willie Ruff, notable attorney, actor, former senator and presidential contender Fred Thompson, Watergate committee U.S. Senator Howell Heflin and U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, whose father was working in nearby Athens when he was born. It sometimes is referred to as "the City of Senators" due to the births of Heflin, McConnell and Thompson within its borders. Col. Harland Sanders worked in the Sheffield depot for Southern Railway in the 1900s. It is also home to the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio where many popular 20th century musicians recorded their work, including Alexander and Ruff. It is the site of historic Helen Keller Hospital, formerly known as Colbert County Hospital and originally constructed in 1921. It was changed to Helen Keller Hospital in 1979, and Keller's birthplace Ivy Green is located less than one mile southwest of the hospital in adjacent Tuscumbia.
Sheffield is located in eastern Colbert County at 34°45′35″N 87°41′41″W / 34.75972°N 87.69472°W / 34.75972; -87.69472 (34.759721, -87.694592), on the south bank of the Tennessee River. Sheffield is bordered to the south by the city of Tuscumbia, to the southeast by Muscle Shoals, and to the north, across the river, by Florence.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.4 square miles (16.7 km2), of which 6.4 square miles (16.5 km2) is land and 0.08 square miles (0.2 km2), or 1.39%, is water.
Sheffield was one of the Colbert County sites of embarkation by riverboat and barge on the Tennessee River during the forced relocation of Eastern and Southern United States Indian tribes, known as the Trail of Tears. The embarkation site was at what is now the Spring Creek boat launch and park area.
Sheffield is also home to the oldest bridge site in the state of Alabama. What is today known as the "Old Railroad Bridge," is actually a bridge site that dates back to the early 1800s.
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