How to Choose a Radiology Tech Program near Shelby Alabama
Best wishes on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Shelby AL so you can learn to be a radiology technician. But now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about choosing the ideal college and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it’s important that you investigate each of the colleges you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Many students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be taken into consideration, there are additional critical qualifiers also. For example, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the schools you are examining are presented later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Technician Work Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the same major job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They may work in Shelby 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 must maintain their equipment and frequently assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Shelby AL medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options
The primary prerequisite for attending a radiology tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to four years to complete and is more extensive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that Shelby AL radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may often be satisfied by taking part in an externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their region. 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 working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an Radiologist school, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so check with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number offer additional options for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. However, many Shelby AL employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Colleges
As a component of every 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 schools. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is usually provided in regional family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Shelby AL residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online style of learning is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are generally less expensive than conventional options. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just make certain that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits 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 Schools
When you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can initiate the process of locating and evaluating Shelby AL x-ray tech colleges. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a determining factor as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? Most radiology tech colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it’s still important to confirm 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 instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it can 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 guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Shelby AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the Alabama xray tech programs you are interested in have partnerships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Shelby AL healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in a new field can be difficult without support. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Shelby AL healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the college they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Shelby AL residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Shelby AL schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray tech program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in Shelby AL, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Why Did You Decide to Be an Xray Technician?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that hiring managers often ask radiographer prospects is "What made you choose radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the private reasons you may have for being a radiology technician, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to radiography, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should ready a number of ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Select the Ideal Radiology Tech Program near Shelby AL
Enrolling in the appropriate radiology tech degree program is a crucial first step toward starting a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must 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 an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As we have covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are considering before making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you decide on an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Shelby AL.
Some Background on Shelby Alabama
Shelby County, Alabama
Shelby County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census the population was 195,085. The county seat is Columbiana. The county is named in honor of Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky from 1792 to 1796 and again from 1812 to 1816.
Shelby County is included in the Birmingham-Hoover, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Shelby County was established on February 7, 1818, and it was named for the Revolutionary War hero and the first Governor of Kentucky, Isaac Shelby. Beginning in 1820, the first county seat was located at Shelbyville. This settlement, long defunct, was located within the modern city limits of Pelham. The first courthouse was built of logs. The seat was moved to Columbia, now Columbiana, in 1826. Initially housed in an old school building, a new brick courthouse building was completed in 1854. It is now known as the Old Shelby County Courthouse and houses the Shelby County Museum and Archives. The current limestone courthouse was built from 1905–06, at a cost of $300,000.
Shelby County has a long history in agriculture, and since about 1990, it has become an important location for growing soybeans, which has exceeded cotton as the most important crop grown there.
Shelby County was the home of an early inland waterway, the Coosa River, and it was also the location of a very early east-west railroad in Alabama that connected Atlanta, Georgia, with locations to its west. Shelby County was also crossed by an early north-south railroad, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, that connected Louisville, Nashville, Decatur, Birmingham, and Montgomery.
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