How to Select an X-Ray Tech School near Columbus Georgia
Congratulations regarding your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Columbus GA so you can become a radiologic technician. And now that you have chosen to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you set about picking the ideal college and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And because the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it’s essential that you investigate each of the schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Many 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 cost and location must be considered, there are additional significant qualifiers also. For example, you need to find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the colleges you are considering are provided later in this article. But first, let’s talk about what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and education options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Work Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the identical primary job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They can work in Columbus GA clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must take care of their equipment plus regularly assess its functionality and safety. They are also required to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Columbus GA medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options
The basic prerequisite for attending a radiology tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more extensive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable as well. One thing to bear in mind is that Columbus GA radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may typically be fulfilled by taking part in an externship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Georgia or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, depending on the state where you will be employed you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many accept additional alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, many Columbus GA employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it could increase your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technologist Degrees
As a part of every 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 portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is usually provided in local family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training may be attended in the comfort of your Columbus GA residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are frequently cheaper than traditional options. Along with lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be lessened 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 disciplined enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiographer Schools
Once you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of finding and assessing Columbus GA x-ray tech schools. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be an important variable also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of radiology tech colleges have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still imperative to make sure that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded 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 undergone an extensive evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Columbus GA employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the Georgia radiology tech schools you are evaluating have partnerships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional connections in the Columbus GA health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the radiographer schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Columbus GA healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Columbus GA home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Columbus GA schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor 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 perspectives regarding the x-ray tech program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in Columbus GA, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check 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 may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Radiologic Technologist?When prepping to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's important to consider questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask radiographer candidates is "What made you choose radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the private reasons you may have for being an Xray technician, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to radiography, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must organize some strategies about how you would like to answer them. Because there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the best choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Pick the Ideal Radiology Technician College near Columbus GA
Picking the right radiology tech school is a crucial first step toward beginning a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the greater part of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As we have covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are assessing before making your final decision. This is equally true whether you opt for an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can narrow down your options before making your decision. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiology tech in Columbus GA.
Some Background on Columbus Georgia
Columbus is a city in the U.S. state of Georgia and the county seat of the consolidated Muscogee County. Columbus is the second largest city in Georgia, it also has the fourth largest metropolitan area of Georgia. According to the 2013 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, Columbus has a population of 202,824 residents, with 316,554 in the greater Columbus-Phenix City metropolitan area. The metro area joins the nearby Alabama cities of Auburn and Opelika to form the Columbus-Auburn-Opelika Combined Statistical Area, which has an estimated population of 501,649. Situated at the heart of the Chattahoochee Valley, Columbus is directly to the east across the Chattahoochee River from Phenix City, Alabama.
Columbus lies 100 miles (160 km) southwest of Atlanta. Fort Benning, the United States Army's Maneuver Center of Excellence and a major employer, is located south of the city in Chattahoochee County. Columbus is home to museums and tourism sites, including the National Infantry Museum, dedicated to the United States Army's Infantry Branch. It has the longest urban whitewater rafting course in the world constructed on the Chattahoochee River.
This was for centuries and more the traditional territory of the Creek Indians, who became known as one of the Five Civilized Tribes of the Southeast after European contact. Those who lived closest to white-occupied areas conducted considerable trading and adopted some European-American ways.
Founded in 1828 by an act of the Georgia Legislature, Columbus was situated at the beginning of the navigable portion of the Chattahoochee River and on the last stretch of the Federal Road before entering Alabama. The city was named for Christopher Columbus, its founders likely influenced by the writings of Washington Irving. The plan for the city was drawn up by Dr. Edwin L. DeGraffenried, who placed the town on a bluff overlooking the river. Across the river to the west, where Phenix City, Alabama is now located, Creek Indians still lived until they were forcibly removed in 1836 by the federal government to make way for European-American settlers.
The river served as Columbus's connection to the world, particularly enabling it to ship its commodity cotton crops from the plantations to the international cotton market via New Orleans and ultimately Liverpool, England. The city's commercial importance increased in the 1850s with the arrival of the railroad. In addition, textile mills were developed along the river, bringing industry to an area reliant upon agriculture. By 1860, the city was one of the more important industrial centers of the South, earning it the nickname "the Lowell of the South," referring to an important textile mill town in Massachusetts.
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