How to Choose an X-Ray Tech Program near Blountsville Alabama
Congrats regarding your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Blountsville AL in order to learn to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you set about choosing the ideal school and program so that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And because most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you may require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s essential that you assess each of the schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. A number of potential students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into consideration, there are additional important qualifications as well. For instance, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, 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 discuss what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Career Summary
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the same major job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They may work in Blountsville AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must care for their equipment and regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Blountsville AL medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees Available
The standard requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate as well. One thing to bear in mind is that Blountsville AL radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an externship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, based on the state where you will be employed you may need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many offer other alternatives for testing also. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, many Blountsville AL employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Classes
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So although you can still earn your degree online, a considerable portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is typically provided in area family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your Blountsville AL home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are frequently less expensive than on-campus alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be decreased as well. But just confirm that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
After you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of looking for and evaluating Blountsville AL x-ray tech schools. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a determining factor also. But along with location and cost, what else should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? A large number of radiology tech schools have acquired some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it’s still imperative to verify that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive review of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized 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 assistance and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Blountsville AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the Alabama radiology technician schools you are interested in have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Blountsville AL medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in a new field can be difficult without help. Ask if the radiographer programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Blountsville AL healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Blountsville AL home. Individuals who have opted 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 concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even 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 normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Blountsville AL schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the x-ray tech school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in Blountsville AL, make certain that they are offered. 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 procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Why Did You Want to Be an Xray Technician?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask radiographer prospects is "What made you decide on radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming an X-Ray tech, but additionally what characteristics and talents you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to radiography, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to prepare several strategies about how you would like to address them. Since there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the leading candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Choose the Right X-Ray Technician Program near Blountsville AL
Selecting the ideal radiology tech degree program is a critical first step toward launching a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs 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 possible care to patients. As has been covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are assessing before making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can focus your options before making your decision. And with the right training and your commitment to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a x-ray tech in Blountsville AL.
Some Background on Blountsville Alabama
Blountsville is a town in Blount County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 1,684.
Blount County was created by the Alabama territorial legislature on February 6, 1818, from land ceded to the federal government by the Creek Nation on August 9, 1814. It was named for Gov. Willie G. Blount of Tennessee, who provided assistance to settlers in Alabama during the Creek War of 1813-14. It lies in the northeastern section of the state, generally known as the mineral region.
What became Blountsville appears on an 1819 map as the mixed Creek/Cherokee Native American village of "Wassausey" (meaning Bear Meat Cabin, the name of an Indian translator who lived there). The town was established by Caleb Fryley and Johnny Jones in 1816 as Bear Meat Cabin. The post office was opened as Blountsville on October 20, 1825, and incorporated on December 13, 1827. It was the county seat until 1889 when the government was moved to Oneonta.
There were many schools in the town in the early years: The Academy, Blount College and the District Agricultural School, plus the public schools. The Blount County Courthouse and jail was built in 1833 and remained there until it was moved to Oneonta. A major crossroads in early Alabama, Blountsville became a Confederate depot for the cavalry. Confederate forces led by General Nathan Bedford Forrest and Union forces led by General Abel Streight skirmished briefly in the town on May 1, 1863, and Major General Lovell H. Rousseau and his Union cavalry occupied the town in July 1864. Blount College was in the building that was originally the courthouse. It was established in 1890. The beautiful Blountsville United Methodist Church was established in 1818 and is the oldest building in Blountsville and is still in use today. Another old building in Blountsville was once known as the Barclift House. Built in 1834 as Hendricks Tavern, it is now owned and is being restored by the Ortiz family.
The Copeland-Bussey House, built c. 1835, is one of the oldest structures in northeast Alabama. The building has been stabilized by the Alabama Historic Preservation Alliance and the Blountsville Historical Society.
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