How to Choose a Radiology Tech Degree Program near Auburn Alabama
Best wishes regarding your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Auburn AL in order to become a radiologic technologist. And now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you go about selecting the ideal college and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And since most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s essential that you research each of the schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Many students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and frequently gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost should be taken into account, there are additional important qualifiers also. For instance, you should find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the colleges you are considering are provided later in this article. But first, let’s talk about what a radiology technician does and the degrees and education options that are available.
Radiology Tech Career Summary
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the identical principal job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They can work in Auburn AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician 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 routinely evaluate its functionality and safety. They are also required to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Auburn AL health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are appropriate as well. Something to bear in mind is that Auburn AL radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their region. Once 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 Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so contact your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many provide additional alternatives for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, many Auburn AL employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could increase 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 calls for re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Classes
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So while you can still earn your online degree, a large portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is often provided in area family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your Auburn AL residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree often find that the online style of education is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are often less expensive than on-campus alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be lessened as well. But just make sure that the online program 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 school may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
Once you have chosen the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of locating and assessing Auburn AL x-ray tech schools. You will also need to determine if you want to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be an important factor also. But along with cost and location, what else should you look at when comparing schools? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it’s still imperative to confirm that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive 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 focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Auburn AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the Alabama xray tech colleges you are interested in have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Auburn AL medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in a new profession can be challenging without help. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Auburn AL healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Auburn AL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually 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 way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Auburn AL colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer college you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in Auburn AL, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Radiology Technician?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's important to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers typically ask radiographer candidates is "What compelled you to choose radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being an Xray technician, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to radiography, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should prepare several strategies about how you would like to address them. Because there are so many factors that go into selecting 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 as well as the abilities you have that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the best candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Choose the Right Radiology Tech Program near Auburn AL
Selecting the ideal x-ray technician college is a critical first step toward starting a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the majority of the day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As we have addressed in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. This is equally true whether you participate in 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 final choice. And with the right education and your commitment to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a x-ray tech in Auburn AL.
Some Background on Auburn Alabama
Auburn is a city in Lee County, Alabama, United States. It is the largest city in eastern Alabama with a 2016 population of 63,118. It is a principal city of the Auburn-Opelika Metropolitan Area. The Auburn-Opelika, AL MSA with a population of 158,991, along with the Columbus, GA-AL MSA and Tuskegee, Alabama, comprises the greater Columbus-Auburn-Opelika, GA-AL CSA, a region home to 501,649 residents.
Auburn is a college town and is the home of Auburn University. It is Alabama's fastest-growing metropolitan area and the nineteenth fastest-growing metro area in the United States since 1990. U.S. News ranked Auburn among its top ten list of best places to live in the United States for the year 2009. The city's unofficial nickname is “The Loveliest Village On The Plains,” taken from a line in the poem The Deserted Village by Oliver Goldsmith: “Sweet Auburn! loveliest village of the plain...”
Inhabited in antiquity by the Creek, the land on which Auburn sits was opened to settlement in 1832 with the Treaty of Cusseta. The first settlers arrived in the winter of 1836 from Harris County, Georgia. These settlers, led by Judge John J. Harper, intended to build a town that would be the religious and educational center for the area.
Auburn was incorporated on February 2, 1839, in what was then Macon County, covering an area of 2 square miles (5.2 km2). By that time, Methodist and Baptist churches had been established, and a school had been built and had come into operation. In the mid-1840s, separate academies for boys and girls were established in addition to the primary school. This concentration of educational institutions led to a rapid influx of families from the planter class into Auburn in the 1840s and 1850s. By 1858, of the roughly 1,000 free residents of Auburn, some 500 were students.
In 1856, the state legislature chartered a Methodist college, the East Alabama Male College in Auburn. This college, now Auburn University, opened its doors in 1859, offering a classical and liberal education.
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