How to Choose an Xray Technician School near Elba Alabama
Congratulations on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Elba AL in order to learn to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you set about choosing the right college and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s imperative that you assess each of the colleges you are considering so that you can compare each program. Many prospective students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into account, there are additional important qualifiers also. For instance, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the colleges you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let’s discuss what a radiology tech does and the credentials and training options that are available.
Radiology Technician Career Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the identical primary job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They can work in Elba AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment and regularly assess its performance and safety. They are additionally required to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Elba AL health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available
The primary requirement for attending a radiology tech school is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, generally requires 18 months to two years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to complete and is more extensive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate also. Something to consider is that Elba AL radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can typically be satisfied by participating in an externship program which many schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so check with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number offer additional options for testing as well. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is optional. However, many Elba AL employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it may increase your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Programs
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is usually performed in regional family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training can be attended in the comfort of your Elba AL residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically find that the online style of learning is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently cheaper than on-campus alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be lessened as well. But just make certain that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the best option for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiographer Schools
As soon as you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of searching for and assessing Elba AL x-ray tech schools. You will also have to determine if you want to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material factor also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? Most radiology technician schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it’s still imperative to confirm that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive review of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Elba AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the Alabama radiology technician colleges you are evaluating have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Elba AL medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will undoubtedly wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the radiographer schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Elba AL healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Elba AL residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need 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 sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class 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 Elba AL schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the x-ray tech program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in Elba AL, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Desire to Become an Xray Technician?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's advantageous to consider questions you could be asked. One of the questions that recruiters frequently ask radiographer applicants is "What drove you to decide on radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a radiology technician, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to radiography, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare some ideas about how you want to answer them. Given that there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the best candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Enroll in the Best X-Ray Technician School near Elba AL
Choosing the ideal radiology technician school is a crucial first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines 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 interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best possible patient care. As we have addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are considering prior to making your final decision. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the proper education and your motivation to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Elba AL.
Some Background on Elba Alabama
Elba is a city in Coffee County, Alabama, United States. At the time of the 2010 U.S. census, its population was 3,940. Elba is part of the Enterprise micropolitan statistical area. Elba is the official county seat of Coffee County, though there are two county courthouses, with the other one being located in the town of Enterprise.
The town which eventually became Elba originated near a ferry across the Pea River in the early 1830s. Originally called Bridgeville, a U.S. post office was established in the town by 1841. In 1851, a lottery to determine a new name for the town was held. One citizen had been reading a biography of Napoleon Bonaparte, and his suggestion of "Elba" as its name was the winner when it was drawn from a hat before any of the other suggestions. Elba became the county seat of Coffee County in 1852.
A logging railroad first reached Elba on March 20, 1892, with the first permanent rail line arriving in October 1898. The "Dorsey Trailer Company" was constructed at the end of this railroad line, and this company manufactured the highway trailers that served on railroads and highways starting with the piggyback railroad or containerized cargo boom of the second half of the 20th century. The new railroad line ended in West Elba, where the "New Town" industrial section of the town was located. The Seaboard System Railroad ceased all railroad service to Elba, including freight service, on November 27, 1984.
The Pea River is an essential component of the history of Elba. The river was originally called the Talakatchee River by the Creek Indians. (In the Creek language, talak means "pea", and hatchee means "small river".) The Pea River frequently flooded, causing great damage to the town. The Lincoln flood of 1865, named for the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in the same year, was the first to destroy the town. Another devastating flood occurred in 1929 when the river crested at a depth of 43.5 feet (13.3 m) early on March 15. Airplanes were used to drop supplies to the completely inundated town. There was only one death from the flood, an African-American man named "Phoe" Larkins. A child born at the Elba Hotel during this flood was named "Noah Tucker" after the biblical character Noah. Vivian Harper received the Theodore N. Vail Silver Medal for her heroic actions during the flood.
A levee was built around the town in 1930. Flood gates were erected and drainage systems improved. Floods continued, however, with especially severe inundations in 1938, 1959 and 1975. The worst flood ever recorded in Elba occurred in 1990, with a river crest of 48 feet (15 m). The levee broke and Whitewater Creek overflowed into the town. Elba was completely flooded for four days, and the town was nearly destroyed. More floods struck Elba in 1994 and 1998.
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