How to Pick a Radiology Tech College near Clanton Alabama
Congratulations regarding your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Clanton AL so you can become a radiologic technician. But now that you have decided to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you set about selecting the right school and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And since the majority of states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you may require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s imperative that you research each of the schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Many potential students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually settle on the lowest cost. But while cost and location must be considered, there are other important qualifiers as well. For instance, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the colleges you are examining are presented later in this article. But first, let’s talk about what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and education options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Job Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the same major job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They may work in Clanton AL hospitals, clinics, private 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 have to take care of their equipment plus routinely evaluate its performance and safety. They are also required to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Clanton AL medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degrees
The basic prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to complete and is more expansive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are acceptable also. One thing to keep in mind is that Clanton AL radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may often be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many accept additional alternatives for testing also. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, many Clanton AL employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it may increase your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Degrees
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree colleges. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a significant amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is often performed in area hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training may be attended in the comfort of your Clanton AL home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently more affordable than conventional options. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be decreased as well. 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 an online school may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
When you have selected the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of searching for and assessing Clanton AL x-ray technician schools. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you consider when reviewing schools? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of radiology tech colleges have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still important to confirm that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous examination of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it might 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 ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Clanton AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the Alabama xray technician programs you are assessing have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional connections in the Clanton AL health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in a new profession can be difficult without support. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are interviewing have job placement 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 Clanton AL healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Clanton AL residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps 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 often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Clanton AL schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer school you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in Clanton AL, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Radiologic Technologist?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's a good idea to review questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters typically ask radiographer candidates is "What compelled you to choose radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being an X-Ray tech, but additionally what attributes and talents you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to radiography, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must ready a number of approaches about how you want to answer them. Given that there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Select the Best Radiology Technician Program near Clanton AL
Picking the appropriate radiology technician school is a critical first step toward starting a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the majority of the day and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As has been covered in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are looking at before making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can narrow down your options and make your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Clanton AL.
Some Background on Clanton Alabama
Clanton is a city in Chilton County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Birmingham–Hoover–Cullman Combined Statistical Area. At the 2010 census the population was 8,619. The city is the county seat of Chilton County. Clanton is the site of the geographic center of the U.S state of Alabama. It is also very known for the amount of drugs distributed.
The town was founded by Alfred Baker in 1868, when Chilton County was formed. Clanton was named in honor of General James H. Clanton, a brigadier in the Confederate States Army, and was incorporated on April 23, 1873. Baker was also elected first mayor of the town. Nearby Lay Lake Dam and Mitchell Dam became Alabama Power's first two dams in the state, bringing economic improvements to the area. Immigrants played a part in starting the county's peach industry more than a century ago. Today, the peach industry is the number one industry in Chilton County, not only bringing fame to the county, but also millions of dollars to the local economy. The city of Clanton constructed a water tower in the form of a peach in 1993, becoming a landmark for travelers along Interstate 65.
Early civil rights activist Ida B. Wells reproduced a photographic postcard depicting an 1891 lynching in Clanton to educate the white public of the atrocities committed against blacks.
During World War II, a small German prisoner of war camp was located in Clanton.
Clanton is located southeast of the center of Chilton County at 32°50'23.316" North, 86°37'41.477" West (32.839810, -86.628188). Clanton, Alabama, in Chilton county, is 37 miles NW of Montgomery, Alabama (center to center) and 144 miles SW of Atlanta, Georgia.
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