How to Choose a Radiology Tech Program near Opelika Alabama
Congratulations on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Opelika AL so you can become a radiologic technician. And now that you have decided to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you go about selecting the ideal school and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And considering that most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you may require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it’s imperative that you assess each of the schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Most students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and frequently gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location must be taken into consideration, there are additional important qualifications as well. For example, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the colleges you are evaluating are provided later in this post. But first, let’s discuss what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and education options that are available.
Radiology Technician Job Description
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the same principal job description, 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. Some opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They can practice in Opelika AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech 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 regularly analyze its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Opelika AL medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Offered
The basic requirement for attending a radiology tech school is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are appropriate as well. One thing to bear in mind is that Opelika AL radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may often be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, depending on the state where you will be working you might need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several approve other alternatives for testing as well. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, numerous Opelika AL employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program involves 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 satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Schools
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree programs. So while you can still earn your degree online, a large amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is often conducted in regional hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your Opelika AL home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often find that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are often less costly than traditional options. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be lessened as well. But just confirm that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Radiographer Programs
Once you have selected the type of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of finding and assessing Opelika AL x-ray tech schools. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important variable also. But along with cost and location, what more should you factor in when reviewing colleges? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? Most radiology technician schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still crucial to verify that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly respected 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 a detailed examination of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Opelika AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the Alabama radiology tech colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Opelika AL healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in a new profession can be difficult without support. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are considering have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Opelika AL healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Opelika AL residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Opelika AL schools you are looking at 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the radiographer college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in Opelika AL, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Radiology Technician?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's advantageous to consider questions you could be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask radiographer candidates is "What drove you to pick radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a radiology technician, but additionally what attributes and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to radiography, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of approaches about how you want to address them. Considering there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you have that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down some concepts and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Select the Right X-Ray Technician School near Opelika AL
Selecting the right radiology tech school is an important first step toward initiating a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the day and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. 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 good work environment and provide the best available patient care. As has been discussed in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are considering before making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your motivation to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a x-ray tech in Opelika AL.
Some Background on Opelika Alabama
Opelika (pronounced |ˌoʊ pəˈlaɪ kə|) is a city in and the county seat of Lee County in the east central part of the State of Alabama. It is a principal city of the Auburn-Opelika Metropolitan Area. According to the 2013 Census Estimate, the population of Opelika was 28,635. The Auburn-Opelika, AL MSA with a population of 150,933 which, along with the Columbus, Georgia metropolitan area and Macon County, Alabama, comprises the greater Greater Columbus, Georgia, a region home to 501,649 residents.
The first white settlers in the area now known as Opelika arrived in the late 1830s and established a community called Lebanon. After the removal of the native Creek (Muscogee) peoples by federal troops in 1836-37, the area became known as "Opelika." This word taken from the Muskogee language means "large swamp". Settlement was sporadic until the late 1840s, when the railroad reached the town. This stimulated development of Opelika as a commercial center.
In 1848, the Montgomery & West Point Railroad Company extended a rail line from Montgomery, Alabama to Opelika, and in 1851 completed a connection to West Point, Georgia, thus connecting Opelika with Atlanta, Georgia. This line was the only direct rail route between New Orleans and the Eastern Seaboard. It rapidly became one of the primary trade lines for shipments of raw cotton from Southern plantations to the North. The Montgomery & West Point was soon joined by a rail connection to Columbus, Georgia in 1855, and a connection to Birmingham, Alabama in 1869. Almost overnight, Opelika became a regional hub for commerce.
To manage this rapid growth, Opelika was incorporated as a town on February 9, 1854, then within Russell County. As a result of Opelika's transportation infrastructure, many warehouses for storing cotton and other goods were built. With the onset of the Civil War these warehouses were converted to Confederate supply depots. In 1864 and 1865, Union raids commanded by Lovell Rousseau and James H. Wilson attacked Opelika, tearing up the railroads and destroying all government property, including Opelika's warehouses.
Soon after the end of the war, the Alabama state legislature created a new county out of parts of Macon, Russell, Chambers, and Tallapoosa counties to be named after Confederate general Robert E. Lee. In 1866, citizens of the new "Lee County" voted Opelika as the county seat. The town was technically unincorporated after having its charter revoked for abetting the rebellion against the United States.
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