How to Pick an Xray Technician School near Athens Alabama
Congratulations on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Athens AL so you can train to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you tackle choosing the ideal college and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And because the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you might need training to pass a licensing examination. So it’s important that you assess each of the colleges you are considering so that you can compare each program. Most potential students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location need to be taken into account, there are other critical qualifications also. For instance, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let’s talk about what a radiology technician does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Career Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the same major job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They can practice in Athens AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to take care of their equipment plus frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Athens AL medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Available
The standard prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, generally takes 18 months to two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to keep in mind is that Athens AL radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics 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 Tech Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, based on the state where you will be practicing you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several provide other options for testing also. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, many Athens AL employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Programs
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree colleges. So while you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is usually provided in area family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training can be attended in the comfort of your Athens AL residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree often find that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are generally more affordable than on-campus options. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be lessened also. But just confirm that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
After you have selected the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of looking for and assessing Athens AL x-ray tech schools. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be an important factor as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you factor in when evaluating schools? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of xray technician colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it’s still important to make sure 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 gone through an extensive review of their teachers and educational materials. If the school is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on 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 getting financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Athens AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the Alabama xray tech schools you are reviewing have relationships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Athens AL health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that initial job in a new field can be challenging without help. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Athens AL healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Athens AL residence. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Athens AL schools 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 an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in Athens AL, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because 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 position, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask radiographer candidates is "What compelled you to pick radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a radiology technician, but additionally what characteristics and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to radiography, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you should organize a number of approaches about how you would like to address them. Since there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Enroll in the Best Radiology Tech Program near Athens AL
Picking the ideal x-ray tech degree program is a crucial first step toward launching a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the working day and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As has been addressed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are assessing before making your final decision. This is equally true whether you decide on an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can examine and compare each program so you can focus your choices before making your decision. And with the proper education and your motivation to succeed, you can realize your goal to practice as a x-ray tech in Athens AL.
Some Background on Athens Alabama
Athens is a city in Limestone County, in the State of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 21,897. The city is the county seat of Limestone County and is included in the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area.
Founded in 1818 by John Coffee, Robert Beaty, John D. Carroll, and John Read, Athens is one of the oldest incorporated cities in the State of Alabama, having been incorporated one year prior to the state's admittance to the Union in 1819. Limestone County was also created by an act of the Alabama Territorial Legislature in 1818. The town was first called Athenson, but was incorporated as Athens after the ancient city in Greece. The town's first mayor was Samuel Tanner, and the Tanner area, south of Athens, was named on his behalf.
The Athens area was the home of William Wyatt Bibb, the first Governor of Alabama, and its second Governor, his brother Thomas Bibb, who succeeded him in office when he died in a fall from his horse.
In 1822, local residents purchased 5 acres (20,000 m2) of land and constructed a building to house the Athens Female Academy. The school became affiliated with the Methodist church in 1842, and was eventually renamed Athens Female College. After becoming coeducational in 1932, the school changed its name again to Athens College. After being taken over by the State of Alabama in 1974, the college was converted to a “reverse junior college,” offering the last two years of instruction for graduates of area community colleges. It is today known as Athens State University.
Many homes in the central part of modern Athens date to the antebellum period, and are part of historic preservation districts.
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