How to Find an X-Ray Tech College near Columbiana Alabama
Congratulations on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Columbiana AL in order to learn to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you undertake choosing the ideal college and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified professional? And since the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it’s essential that you assess each of the schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Many prospective students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into account, there are other important qualifiers also. For instance, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the colleges you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let’s explore what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Job Summary
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the same fundamental job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They may work in Columbiana AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to take care of their equipment and routinely assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Columbiana AL health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options
The primary requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech college is to have attained a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, usually takes 18 months to two years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to consider is that Columbiana AL radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can typically be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, based on the state where you will be practicing you may need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several provide additional alternatives for testing also. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, numerous Columbiana AL employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it may increase your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Technician Degrees
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree colleges. So while you can still earn your online degree, a large amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is often conducted in regional family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Columbiana AL home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically find that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are frequently less costly than conventional options. Along with lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be lessened also. But just make sure that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
After you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of finding and evaluating Columbiana AL x-ray technician colleges. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining factor also. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you factor in when evaluating schools? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of xray technician colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it’s still important to confirm 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 earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed examination of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it can also earn 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. Along with ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Columbiana AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the Alabama xray tech colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Columbiana AL health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in a new profession can be challenging without support. Find out if the radiographer programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Columbiana AL healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Columbiana AL home. Students 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. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may 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 Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Columbiana AL colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray technician program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the x-ray tech school you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in Columbiana AL, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Be an X-Ray Tech?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's helpful to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask radiographer prospects is "What compelled you to pick radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming an Xray technician, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to radiography, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to organize a number of strategies about how you want to address them. Given that there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Pick the Right Radiology Tech Program near Columbiana AL
Enrolling in the ideal radiology tech degree program is a critical first step toward beginning a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the day and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As we have addressed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are assessing before making your final selection. This is just as true whether you opt for an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a x-ray tech in Columbiana AL.
Some Background on Columbiana Alabama
Columbiana is a city in Shelby County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 4,197. The city is the county seat of Shelby County.
Columbiana, originally called Columbia, was selected as the county seat of Shelby County in 1826 over rivals Calera and Montevallo. After the selection as the county seat, Columbiana celebrated by drilling holes in a large pine tree and packing it with gunpowder. The tree was blown up and the sound could be heard for miles. Later in 1826, the courthouse was moved to an old school building in Columbiana.
An act of the Alabama Legislature officially changed the name of Shelby County’s county seat to Columbiana on January 13, 1832. Columbiana was incorporated on December 5, 1837 with corporate limits one-quarter of a mile in each direction from the public square.
In 1854, the decision was made to build a larger courthouse at the south end of “Silk Stocking Road”, now Main Street. From 1854 to 1908 several additions and changes were made to the courthouse. During the American Civil War, Columbiana was connected to the nearby town of Shelby by the Shelby Iron Company Railroad, which connected the Shelby Iron Works to the Alabama and Tennessee River Railroad. The Iron Works supplied iron to the C.B. Churchill and Company foundry, which moved to Columbiana in 1862 after the fall of Corinth, Mississippi. The Churchill foundry made eight and ten pound shot, eight and ten pound shells, and shells for Blakely rifles. The C.B. Churchill and Company foundry, Shelby Iron Works and the railroad were destroyed by Union forces on March 31, 1865, as part of Wilson's Raid.
Moving the courthouse to Columbiana was not necessarily popular in 1826 and there have been numerous attempts to relocate the county seat over the years. In 1901, the Alabama Constitutional Convention addressed the issue by including Section 41 in the new state constitution. Section 41 prohibited a move of the Shelby County seat from Columbiana unless a vote of the people was held, the only county in Alabama with such a designation.
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