How to Choose an X-Ray Tech College near Fairhope Alabama
Best wishes regarding your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Fairhope AL in order to train to be a radiology technician. But now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you set about choosing the right school 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 examination. So it’s imperative that you investigate each of the colleges you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. A number of students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into account, there are other important qualifiers as well. For example, you need to find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These questions and others you must ask the colleges you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let’s explore what a radiology tech does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
Radiology Technician Career Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical fundamental job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They may practice in Fairhope AL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must take care of their equipment and frequently evaluate its performance and safety. They are also required to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Fairhope AL medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees
The primary requirement for attending a radiology tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable as well. One thing to keep in mind is that Fairhope AL radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can often be fulfilled by taking part in an externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in their region. After 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 Tech Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, based on the state where you will be employed you might need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number offer other options for testing as well. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, many Fairhope AL employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it might 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 comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Programs
As a part of every 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 although you can still earn your online degree, a large amount of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often conducted in regional hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your Fairhope AL residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online schools are often cheaper than traditional options. Along with lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be decreased as well. But just be sure that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
When you have selected the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of finding and assessing Fairhope AL x-ray technician schools. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining factor as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you factor in when reviewing colleges? Well, you should ask if the schools 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 put together a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? Most xray technician schools have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it’s still important to confirm that the program and school 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on 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 guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Fairhope AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the Alabama radiology tech programs you are interested in have associations with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Fairhope AL health care community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in a new field can be difficult without help. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Fairhope AL healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Fairhope AL home. Students who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Fairhope AL colleges you are researching what the average 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 decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray technician program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the radiographer school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in Fairhope AL, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify 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 may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Radiologic Technologist?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask radiographer prospects is "What compelled you to select radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming an X-Ray tech, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to radiography, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must organize a number of ideas about how you want to answer them. Considering there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down some concepts and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Choose the Best Radiology Tech College near Fairhope AL
Choosing the best x-ray tech degree program is an important first step toward starting a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines 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. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As has been discussed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are assessing prior to making your final selection. This is just as 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 program so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the proper education and your motivation to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a x-ray tech in Fairhope AL.
Some Background on Fairhope Alabama
Fairhope is a city in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States, on a sloping plateau, along the cliffs and shoreline of Mobile Bay. The 2010 census lists the population of the city as 15,326. Fairhope is a principal city of the Daphne-Fairhope-Foley micropolitan area, which includes all of Baldwin County. In 2016, Fairhope was named the best small town in the South by Southern Living magazine.
Fairhope was founded in November 1894 on the site of the former Alabama City as a radical Georgist "Single-Tax" colony by the Fairhope Industrial Association, a group of 28 followers of economist Henry George who had incorporated earlier that year in Des Moines, Iowa. Their corporate constitution explained their purpose in founding a new colony:
In forming their demonstration project, they pooled their funds to purchase land at "Stapleton's pasture" on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay and then divided it into a number of long-term leaseholds. The corporation paid all governmental taxes from rents paid by the lessees, thus simulating a single-tax. The purpose of the single-tax colony was to eliminate disincentives for productive use of land and thereby retain the value of land for the community.
"Fairhope Avenue" was one of the properties on the 1910 version of the board game The Landlord's Game, a precursor of Monopoly.
In 1907 educator Marietta Johnson founded the School for Organic Education in Fairhope. The school was praised in John Dewey's influential 1915 book Schools of Tomorrow. Dewey and Johnson were founding members of the Progressive Education Association.
More Cities of Interest in Alabama