How to Choose a Radiology Tech Degree Program near Trussville Alabama
Congratulations regarding your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Trussville AL so you can learn to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you set about choosing the ideal college and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified professional? And considering that most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may require 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. A number of potential students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and frequently gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost must be taken into consideration, there are other important qualifiers as well. For instance, you must find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the colleges you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let’s talk about what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and training options that are available.
Radiology Tech Career Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the same principal job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They may practice in Trussville AL hospitals, clinics, 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 maintain their equipment plus routinely analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Trussville AL medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees
The standard prerequisite for attending a radiology tech program is to have earned 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 common among techs, usually takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at as much as four years to complete and is more expansive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate also. Something to consider is that Trussville AL radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, depending on the state where you will be working you may have to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do require 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. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous Trussville AL employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might increase your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Schools
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a considerable amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is often carried out in regional family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your Trussville AL residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are often cheaper than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be reduced also. But just be sure that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
After you have chosen the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of finding and assessing Trussville AL x-ray technician schools. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a material factor as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you factor in when reviewing schools? Well, you need to ask 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 compiled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of radiology tech schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still imperative 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). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive review of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Trussville AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the Alabama xray technician schools you are reviewing have partnerships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Trussville AL health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in a new profession 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 an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Trussville AL healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Trussville AL residence. Students 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 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Trussville AL schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the x-ray technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer program you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in Trussville AL, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Decide to Become an X-Ray Tech?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers often ask radiographer prospects is "What compelled you to choose radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a radiology technician, but additionally what qualities and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to radiography, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you should organize some approaches about how you would like to answer them. Since there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying 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 leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Enroll in the Right X-Ray Technician College near Trussville AL
Selecting the ideal x-ray technician college is a critical first step toward starting a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs often stand for the majority of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best available patient care. As has been covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are reviewing before making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each school so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the proper training and your commitment to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a x-ray tech in Trussville AL.
Some Background on Trussville Alabama
Trussville is a city in Jefferson and St. Clair counties in the State of Alabama. It is a suburb of Birmingham and part of the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Statistical Area. Its estimated 2015 population was 21,023.
Trussville has been recognized as one of the most livable cities in the state and country. It was named one of the ten best towns in Alabama for young families, listed among the five best Birmingham suburbs, and included in Money magazine's list of 100 best places to live in America.
Trussville is located at 33°37′18″N 86°35′47″W / 33.62167°N 86.59639°W / 33.62167; -86.59639 (33.621623, -86.596404).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 22.3 square miles (58 km2), of which 22.2 square miles (57 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.27%) is water.
The first European settler to establish residence in the area was Warren Truss, who entered the area with his brothers and constructed a grist mill on the Cahaba River in 1821. Truss was a North Carolina man of English descent. Trussville remained an agricultural community until after the Civil War, when the Alabama-Chattanooga Railway was built through the city. By 1886 a blast furnace was built on what is now the site of the new Cahaba Elementary School. Trussville was listed as an incorporated community on the 1890 and 1900 U.S. Census rolls. At some point after 1900 until its reincorporation in 1947, it did not appear on census records.
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