How to Choose a Radiology Tech College near Union Springs Alabama
Congratulations regarding your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Union Springs AL in order to become a radiologic technologist. But now that you have made a decision to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you set about picking the right college and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And since most states do require 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 investigate each of the schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. A number of students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and frequently gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location must be considered, there are additional critical qualifications also. For example, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the schools you are reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
Radiology Tech Job Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the same fundamental job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They may practice in Union Springs AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech 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 also routinely evaluate its performance and safety. They are also required to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Union Springs AL health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degree Options
The primary requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, normally requires 18 months to two years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to finish and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are acceptable also. One thing to consider is that Union Springs 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 offer through local hospitals and clinics in their area. After 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 Technician Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, depending 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. Presently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number approve additional alternatives for testing also. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, many Union Springs AL employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Programs
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is often performed in local family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your Union Springs AL home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often find that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are generally less expensive than conventional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be reduced as well. But just be sure that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the right option for you.
What to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
Once you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of locating and evaluating Union Springs AL x-ray tech colleges. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a determining variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of xray technician schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still imperative to verify that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive assessment of their instructors 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 recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Union Springs AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the Alabama radiology tech colleges you are assessing have associations with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Union Springs AL health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the radiographer schools you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Union Springs AL healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Union Springs AL residence. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Union Springs AL schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher 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 some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the x-ray tech program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in Union Springs AL, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Why Did You Want to Be an X-Ray Tech?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers typically ask radiographer applicants is "What made you pick radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the private reasons you might have for being an X-Ray tech, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to radiography, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should prepare a number of strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the ideal choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Choose the Ideal X-Ray Tech School near Union Springs AL
Enrolling in the ideal radiology technician college is a crucial first step toward launching a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the greater part of the day and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As has been addressed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are assessing before making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you participate in an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can focus your options before making your decision. And with the right education and your dedication to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a x-ray tech in Union Springs AL.
Some Background on Union Springs Alabama
Union Springs, Alabama
Union Springs is a city in and county seat of Bullock County, Alabama, United States. The population was 3,980 at the 2010 census.
The area that became Union Springs was first settled by white men after the Creek Indian removal of the 1830s. Twenty-seven springs watered the land, giving rise to the name of Union Springs. The city was incorporated on January 13, 1844. When Bullock County was formed in 1866, voters selected Union Springs as the county seat.
Union Springs is located in southeastern Alabama near the center of Bullock County at 32°8'24.407" North, 85°42'46.094" West (32.140113, -85.712804). The source of the Conecuh River is within the city limits.
The city is located at the intersection of U.S. Route 82 and U.S. Route 29. Route 82 leads east 40 miles (64 km) to Eufaula and northwest 46 miles (74 km) to Montgomery, the state capital. Route 29 leads north 23 miles (37 km) to Tuskegee and southwest 40 miles (64 km) to Troy.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Union Springs has a total area of 6.7 square miles (17.3 km2), of which 6.6 square miles (17.2 km2) is land and 0.077 square miles (0.2 km2), or 0.93%, is water.
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