How to Choose an X-Ray Tech College near Heflin Alabama
Best wishes regarding your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Heflin AL so you can learn to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have chosen to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about picking the right school and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled professional? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you may need training to pass a licensing examination. So it’s essential that you research each of the schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Most prospective students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location must be considered, there are additional important qualifiers also. For example, you should ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the colleges you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a radiology technician does and the credentials and education options that are available.
Radiology Technician Work Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the same major job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They can practice in Heflin AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to care for their equipment plus regularly evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Heflin AL health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees
The basic prerequisite for attending a radiology tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent 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 as much as 4 years to finish and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate as well. One thing to bear in mind is that Heflin AL radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may typically be fulfilled by participating 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 must abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be practicing you may have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many offer additional options for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous Heflin AL employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it might improve your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Degrees
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So although you can still earn your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is usually performed in local hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your Heflin AL residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree often discover that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are often cheaper than on-campus options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be decreased as well. But just make certain that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiographer Programs
When you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of locating and evaluating Heflin AL x-ray tech colleges. You will also have to determine if you want to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a material factor as well. But along with location and cost, what more should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of xray tech colleges have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it’s still important to make sure that the school and program 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 obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a rigorous examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Heflin AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the Alabama xray technician colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Heflin AL health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the radiographer programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Heflin AL healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Heflin AL home. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble 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 choose 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 commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Heflin AL colleges 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 an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray technician program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer school you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in Heflin AL, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Radiology Technician?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's a good idea to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask radiographer applicants is "What drove you to choose radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a radiology technician, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to radiography, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare some approaches about how you want to respond to them. Because there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the ideal choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Choose the Right Radiology Technician School near Heflin AL
Enrolling in the ideal radiology technician degree program is a crucial first step toward starting a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the workday and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians 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 pleasant work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As we have covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are assessing before making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you participate in 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 choices before making your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a x-ray tech in Heflin AL.
Some Background on Heflin Alabama
Howell Thomas Heflin (June 19, 1921 – March 29, 2005) was an American politician who served in the United States Senate, representing Alabama, from 1979 to 1997. He was a member of the Democratic Party.
Howell Heflin was born on June 19, 1921 in Poulan, Georgia. He attended public school in Alabama, having graduated from Colbert County High School in Leighton. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1942 from Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham. He was also the nephew of prominent white supremacist politician and U.S. Senator James Thomas Heflin and greatnephew of U.S. Representative Robert Stell Heflin.
During World War II, from 1942 to 1946, he served as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. He was awarded the Silver Star for valor in combat and recipient of two Purple Heart medals, having seen action on Bougainville and Guam.
After World War II, he attended the University of Alabama School of Law, from which he graduated in 1948. Prior to his election to the Alabama Supreme Court, he served as a law professor, while concurrently practicing law in Tuscumbia, Alabama.
In 1970, Heflin was elected to the post of Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, serving from 1971 to 1977.
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