How to Pick an Xray Technician Program near Smyrna Georgia
Congrats regarding your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Smyrna GA in order to train to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have made a decision to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle picking the right school and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled professional? And considering that the majority of states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it’s important that you assess each of the colleges you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Most potential students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location should be considered, there are other important qualifiers as well. For example, you must find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the schools you are evaluating are presented later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and training options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Occupation Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the same primary job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for example mammography. They can practice in Smyrna GA hospitals, clinics, private 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 maintain their equipment plus frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are also required to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Smyrna GA health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Available
The basic prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, usually requires 18 months to two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at as much as four years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate as well. One thing to bear in mind is that Smyrna GA radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Georgia or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, depending on the state where you will be working you might need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so get in touch with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many offer additional alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, many Smyrna GA employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it may improve your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Degrees
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is typically provided in area family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your Smyrna GA home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often find that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are often less expensive than traditional options. Along with lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be lessened also. But just be sure that the online program you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
Once you have chosen the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and assessing Smyrna GA x-ray technician colleges. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a material variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of xray tech colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it’s still imperative to confirm 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 gone through a detailed evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on 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 guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Smyrna GA employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the Georgia xray technician colleges you are assessing have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Smyrna GA healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that initial job in a new field can be difficult without support. Find out if the radiographer programs you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Smyrna GA healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Smyrna GA home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry 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 decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required 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.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Smyrna GA schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray tech program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the x-ray tech program you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in Smyrna GA, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Become a Radiology Technician?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask radiographer candidates is "What made you choose radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming an X-Ray tech, but additionally what attributes and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to radiography, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must prepare some ideas about how you would like to address them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the talents you have that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the leading candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
Choose the Ideal Radiology Technician Program near Smyrna GA
Enrolling in the right radiology technician college is a crucial first step toward beginning a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and provide the best available patient care. As has been addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are assessing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you participate in an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each program so you can narrow down your options and make your decision. And with the right training and your dedication to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiology tech in Smyrna GA.
Some Background on Smyrna Georgia
Smyrna is a city northwest of the neighborhoods of Atlanta. It is in the inner ring of the Atlanta Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 51,271. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the population in 2013 to be 53,438. It is included in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell MSA, which is included in the Atlanta—Athens-Clarke—Sandy Springs CSA. Smyrna grew by 28% between the years 2000 and 2012. It is historically one of the fastest growing cities in the State of Georgia, and one of the most densely populated cities in the metro area.
Pioneers began settling the area in 1832. By the late 1830s, a religious encampment called Smyrna Camp Ground had become a popular travel destination and was well known throughout Georgia. It was named by Greeks for the Biblical city of Smyrna, modern day Izmir in Turkey, the home of the famous Christian martyr Polycarp. After the completion of the Western and Atlantic Railroad in 1842 the area began to grow. It was known by several names until 1872 – Varner's Station, Ruff's Siding, Neal Dow and Ruff's Station. The city was incorporated with the name Smyrna in 1872.
Two Civil War battles occurred in the area, the Battle of Smyrna Camp Ground and the Battle of Ruff's Mill, both on July 4, 1864. The area's businesses, homes and 1849 covered bridge (since rebuilt and still in use today) were burned by Sherman's troops.
The city elected its first woman mayor, Lorena Pace Pruitt, in 1946.
The nearby Bell Bomber plant that produced B-29 bombers during World War II was reopened by Lockheed in 1951 and became a catalyst for growth. The city's population grew during the next two decades, from 2,005 in 1950 to almost 20,000 by 1970.
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