How to Choose an Xray Technician School near Tuscumbia Alabama
Best wishes regarding your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Tuscumbia AL so you can become a radiologic technologist. But now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle choosing the right school and program so that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And since most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s essential that you investigate each of the colleges you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Most potential students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be taken into consideration, there are other significant qualifications also. For example, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the colleges you are evaluating are presented later in this post. But first, let’s talk about what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Occupation Summary
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same major job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They can practice in Tuscumbia AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might 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 plus regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Tuscumbia AL medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options
The primary requirement for attending a radiology tech college is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, usually takes 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to complete and is more expansive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are appropriate as well. Something to bear in mind is that Tuscumbia AL radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, depending on the state where you will be working you may have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria vary 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 a number provide additional alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, numerous Tuscumbia AL employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it could improve your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Classes
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is typically carried out in local family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your Tuscumbia AL home. Students who continue working while earning their degree often find that the online style of learning is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently less costly than conventional options. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be lessened also. But just make sure that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
Once you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of searching for and evaluating Tuscumbia AL x-ray technician schools. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important factor also. But along with cost and location, what more should you consider when comparing colleges? Well, you should find out if the schools 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 need to ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still crucial to confirm that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Tuscumbia AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the Alabama radiology technician colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, 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 connections in the Tuscumbia AL healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in a new profession can be difficult without support. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Tuscumbia AL healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Tuscumbia AL residence. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Tuscumbia AL colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the radiographer college you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in Tuscumbia AL, check 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 need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Radiologic Technologist?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask radiographer candidates is "What drove you to choose radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being an Xray technician, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to radiography, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare several approaches about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the strengths you have that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the best candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Enroll in the Ideal X-Ray Technician Program near Tuscumbia AL
Selecting the right radiology technician college is a crucial first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the majority of the workday and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. 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 good work environment and furnish the best available care to patients. As has been covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can narrow down your options before making your decision. And with the right training and your dedication to succeed, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiographer in Tuscumbia AL.
Some Background on Tuscumbia Alabama
Tuscumbia is a city in and the county seat of Colbert County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 8,423. The city is part of The Shoals metropolitan area.
Tuscumbia was the hometown of Helen Keller (Ivy Green) and much of the city is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Tuscumbia Historic District. The city serves as the location for the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.
Tuscumbia had its beginnings when the Michael Dixon family arrived about 1816. They traded with Chief Tucumseh for the Tuscumbia Valley and built their home at the head of the big spring. From these humble dwellings quickly developed a village known as the Big Spring Community. The men of the community requested that the state legislature incorporate them as a city. The town was incorporated in 1820 as Ococoposa and is one of Alabama's oldest towns. In 1821, its name was changed to Big Spring and on December 22, 1822, to Tuscumbia, after the Chief Rainmaker of the Chickasaws.
Although shoals on the nearby Tennessee River made the river nearly impassable, a federal highway completed in 1820 provided the area with good access to markets. Tuscumbia soon became the center for agriculture in northern Alabama. A line to the town on the Tuscumbia, Courtland and Decatur Railroad was completed in 1832, and by 1850 Tuscumbia was a major railroad hub for train traffic throughout the South.
Tuscumbia became the county seat for Colbert County in 1867.
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