How to Select a Radiology Tech College near Dothan Alabama
Congratulations on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Dothan AL in order to become a radiologic technologist. And now that you have made a decision to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you undertake picking the right college and program so that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that most states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you might need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s imperative that you research each of the colleges you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Most students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and often gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location should be taken into account, there are additional important qualifiers as well. For example, you must find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the schools you are examining are presented later in this article. But first, let’s talk about what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Occupation Summary
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the identical primary job description, 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 treating cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They may work in Dothan 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 have to take care of their equipment plus frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Dothan AL health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degree Options
The basic requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech program 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 common among technicians, 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 nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are acceptable also. One thing to keep in mind is that Dothan AL radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can often be fulfilled by participating in an externship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, based on the state where you will be employed you may need to become 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 require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many accept additional alternatives for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous Dothan AL employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it could improve your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Programs
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So even though you can still earn your degree online, a large portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is typically carried out in local family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your Dothan AL residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online style of education is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are frequently less costly than conventional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be decreased also. But just confirm that the online school you choose is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then online classes may be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
Once you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can start the process of searching for and assessing Dothan AL x-ray technician colleges. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material variable also. But along with location and cost, what else should you factor in when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still crucial to make sure that the program and school are accredited. One of the most highly respected 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 an extensive assessment of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Dothan AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the Alabama xray tech programs you are reviewing have relationships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Dothan AL health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in a new field can be difficult without support. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Dothan AL healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Dothan AL residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Dothan AL schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the x-ray tech program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the x-ray tech college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in Dothan AL, make certain 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, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Choose to Be an Xray Technician?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask radiographer applicants is "What compelled you to choose radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming an X-Ray tech, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to radiography, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare some strategies about how you want to answer them. Since there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a number 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 ideal candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Select the Right X-Ray Tech Program near Dothan AL
Enrolling in the best x-ray technician degree program is a critical first step toward beginning a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the greater part of the day and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are looking at prior to making your final selection. This is just as true whether you opt for 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 final choice. And with the right education and your motivation to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a x-ray tech in Dothan AL.
Some Background on Dothan Alabama
Dothan /ˈdoʊθən/ is a city in Dale, Henry, and Houston counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. Located in the state's southeastern corner, approximately 20 miles (32 km) west of the Georgia state line and 16 miles (26 km) north of Florida, it is the county seat of Houston County. Its name derives from Genesis 37:17: "let us go to Dothan." The population was 65,496 at the 2010 census.
Dothan is the principal city of the Dothan, Alabama metropolitan area, which encompasses all of Geneva, Henry, and Houston counties; the small portion that lies in Dale County is part of the Ozark Micropolitan Statistical Area. The combined population for the entire Dothan metropolitan area in 2010 was 145,639. The city serves as the main transportation and commercial hub for a significant part of southeastern Alabama, southwest Georgia, and nearby portions of the Florida Panhandle. Since approximately one-fourth of the U.S. peanut crop is produced nearby, with much of it being processed in the city, Dothan is sometimes referred to as "The Peanut Capital of the World". Dothan also hosts the annual National Peanut Festival at the dedicated "Peanut Festival Fairgrounds".
The area that is now Dothan was inhabited for thousands of years by successive cultures of indigenous peoples. In historic times it was occupied by the Alabama and Creek Native American tribes who were hunters and gatherers in the vast forests of pine that covered this region. These tribes had developed complex cultures, and often used to meet and camp for trading near a large spring at the crossroads of two trails.
Between 1763 and 1783, the region that is now Dothan was part of the colony of British West Florida. European-American settlers moving through the area during the late 18th and early 19th centuries discovered the Indian spring, naming it "Poplar Head". Most felt that the sandy soil common to this region would be unsuitable for farming, so they moved on. A crude stockade was constructed on the Barber Plantation, where settlers could take refuge whenever they felt threatened. This fort disappeared by the 1840s, after the end of the Indian Wars in Alabama and the removal of most members of the Five Civilized Tribes to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River. Some Indians stayed in the region, becoming state and U.S. citizens by giving up their tribal membership.
The first permanent white (European-American) settlers consisted of nine families who moved into the area during the early 1830s to harvest the abundant timber. Their settlement, named "Poplar Head" after the spring, failed to thrive and was all but abandoned by the time of the Civil War.
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