How to Pick a Radiology Tech Degree Program near Jacksonville Alabama
Best wishes regarding your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Jacksonville AL in order to become a radiology technologist. But now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you set about choosing the right school and program so that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And considering that most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may need training to pass a licensing exam. So it’s essential that you research each of the schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Many prospective students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into account, there are additional important qualifications also. For example, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you should ask the colleges you are evaluating are presented later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Career Summary
There are multiple professional designations 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 principal job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They can practice in Jacksonville 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 care for their equipment and frequently assess its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Jacksonville AL medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Available
The standard prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to bear in mind is that Jacksonville AL radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may often be fulfilled by taking part in an externship program which many schools 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 requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, based on the state where you will be working you might need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many provide other options for testing also. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, numerous Jacksonville AL employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Schools
As a part 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 although you can still earn your online degree, a significant amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often provided in local family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Jacksonville AL residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically discover that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently cheaper than conventional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be decreased as well. But just confirm that the online school you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
After you have selected the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of locating and evaluating Jacksonville AL x-ray tech schools. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining variable also. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? The majority of xray tech schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it’s still crucial to confirm that the school and program 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 gone through a rigorous examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations 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 assist in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Jacksonville AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the Alabama xray tech colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Jacksonville AL health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in a new field can be challenging without support. Ask if the radiographer 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 substantial networks and great relationships with Jacksonville AL healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Jacksonville AL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to 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 far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Jacksonville AL colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. 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 speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray tech program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the x-ray tech program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in Jacksonville AL, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Radiologic Technologist?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask radiographer candidates is "What compelled you to select radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming an Xray technician, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to radiography, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should ready several strategies about how you would like to address them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Choose the Right X-Ray Technician School near Jacksonville AL
Picking the ideal radiology tech degree program is an important first step toward initiating a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the working day and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As has been addressed in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each school so you can focus your choices before making your decision. And with the right education and your commitment to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a x-ray tech in Jacksonville AL.
Some Background on Jacksonville Alabama
Jacksonville is a city in Calhoun County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 census the population was 12,548, which is a 49% increase since 2000. It is included in the Anniston-Oxford Metropolitan Statistical Area. Jacksonville State University is located here, which is a center of commerce and one of the largest employers in the area.
Jacksonville was founded in 1833 on land purchased from Creek Indian Chief "Du-Hoag" Ladiga. First called Drayton, the town was renamed to honor President Andrew Jackson in 1834. There are a couple Civil War monuments in town, including a statue of Major John Pelham in the city cemetery and a statue of a Confederate soldier in the middle of the square. Jacksonville served as the county seat for Calhoun County until the 20th century when it moved to Anniston. Jacksonville State University was founded here in 1883.
Nestled in the foothills of the Appalachians, Jacksonville is located at 33°48'56.758" North, 85°45'37.681" West (33.815766, -85.760467).
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.8 square miles (25.5 km2), of which 0.008 square miles (0.02 km2), or 0.10%, is water. Jacksonville is located in a valley between Choccolocco Mountain to the east and smaller ridges to the west.
As of the census of 2010, there were 12,548 people, 4,917 households, and 2,466 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,275 people per square mile (492.2/km²). There were 5,382 housing units at an average density of 546.4 per square mile (210.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 68.7% White, 26.8% Black or African American, 0.5% Native American, 1.3% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 0.6% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. 2.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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