How to Choose a Radiology Technician Program near Prattville Alabama
Best wishes on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Prattville AL in order to train to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have made a decision to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you set about picking the ideal college and program to ensure that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled professional? And because the majority of states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you may require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it’s essential that you investigate each of the colleges you are looking at in order to compare each program. Most potential students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost need to be considered, there are additional critical qualifiers also. For instance, you need to find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the colleges you are examining are provided later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and education options that are offered.
X-Ray Technician Job Summary
There are multiple professional designations 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 major job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They can work in Prattville 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 must maintain their equipment and also frequently assess its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Prattville AL health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees Available
The standard requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, generally requires 18 months to two years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to four years to complete and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable also. Something to consider is that Prattville AL radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can often be fulfilled by participating in an externship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, depending on the state where you will be working you might have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites differ so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but a number offer other alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. However, many Prattville AL employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Degrees
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree schools. So although you can still earn your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is typically performed in regional family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your Prattville AL residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree often find that the online approach to education is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are generally less costly than traditional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be decreased as well. But just make sure that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges
After you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of looking for and evaluating Prattville AL x-ray tech schools. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a determining factor as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you look at when evaluating schools? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Tech Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray technician colleges have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it’s still crucial to verify 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). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed review of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Prattville AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the Alabama radiology tech programs you are reviewing have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Prattville AL health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in a new profession can be difficult without help. Find out if the radiographer programs you are assessing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Prattville AL healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Prattville AL residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local 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 even out of your local area, you might have 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 live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Prattville AL colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the x-ray tech college you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in Prattville AL, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Desire to Be an X-Ray Tech?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask radiographer prospects is "What made you choose radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a radiology technician, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to radiography, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare several strategies about how you would like to address them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the ideal choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Select the Ideal Radiology Tech School near Prattville AL
Choosing the best x-ray tech degree program is a critical first step toward beginning a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the majority of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As we have addressed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are reviewing before making your final decision. This is just as true whether you participate in an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the appropriate education and your motivation to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a x-ray tech in Prattville AL.
Some Background on Prattville Alabama
Prattville is a city in Autauga and Elmore counties in the State of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 33,960. Nicknamed "The Fountain City" due to the many artesian wells in the area, Prattville is part of the Montgomery metropolitan statistical area and serves as the county seat of Autauga County.
Prattville was founded in 1839 by industrialist and architect Daniel Pratt. The area was largely inhabited by Native Americans and a few settlers when Pratt, a native of Temple, New Hampshire, first observed the Autauga Creek in the 1830s. He purchased approximately 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) from Joseph May at $21.00 an acre, and set out to build his manufacturing facilities and the town along the banks of Autauga Creek. The location was chosen because the creek could supply power to the cotton gin manufacturing equipment. The town became an industrial center and rapidly grew. In 1868, it was named the county seat for Autauga County.
Prattville contains several sites on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Daniel Pratt Historic District, Bell House and Buena Vista.
On February 17, 2008, Prattville was hit by an F3 tornado which destroyed more than 45 homes and businesses and damaged over 700. Twenty-nine people were injured with no fatalities. Preliminary estimates put the damage at $85 million in insured and uninsured damages.
Prattville is located at Coordinates: 32°27′44″N 86°27′41″W / 32.462235°N 86.461264°W / 32.462235; -86.461264 (32.462235, -86.461264). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 33.8 square miles (88 km2) of which 32.9 square miles (85 km2) is land and 0.9 square miles (2.3 km2) (3.09%) is water.
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