How to Choose a Radiologic Technician Degree Program near Summerdale Alabama
Congrats on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Summerdale AL in order to learn to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you undertake selecting the right school and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified professional? And because the majority of states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s essential that you investigate each of the schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Most prospective students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be considered, there are additional important qualifications as well. For instance, you should find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the colleges you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Career Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the same principal job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They may work in Summerdale AL hospitals, clinics, family 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 and regularly analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally required to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Summerdale AL health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Available
The primary requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have received 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, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at as much as four years to complete and is more extensive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to keep in mind is that Summerdale AL radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which many schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be practicing you may have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many accept other alternatives for testing also. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many Summerdale AL employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it might improve your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to 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 Tech Schools
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is usually conducted in local hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Summerdale AL residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently less expensive than on-campus options. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be decreased also. But just be sure that the online program you select is accredited (more on the benefits 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 ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
When you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of locating and assessing Summerdale AL x-ray technician colleges. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be an important factor also. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you factor in when comparing colleges? Well, you need to ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray technician schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still imperative to verify that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive review of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Summerdale AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the Alabama radiology technician programs you are assessing have associations with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Summerdale AL healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in a new profession can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the radiographer schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Summerdale AL healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Summerdale AL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college 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 typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Summerdale AL schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in Summerdale AL, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Why Did You Desire to Be an Xray Technician?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask radiographer prospects is "What made you pick radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming an X-Ray tech, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to radiography, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must ready several approaches about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the best choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Choose the Right Radiology Technician College near Summerdale AL
Picking the ideal x-ray technician college is a critical first step toward launching a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs often stand for the majority of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As has been addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are assessing before making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you decide on an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the proper training and your dedication to be successful, you can reach your goal to work as a radiology tech in Summerdale AL.
Some Background on Summerdale Alabama
Summerdale is a rural town in south-central Baldwin County, Alabama, United States. It is the site of the Naval Outlying Field Summerdale. At the 2010 census the population was 862. It is part of the Daphne–Fairhope–Foley Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Summerdale is located at 30°29'15.468" North, 87°42'4.036" West (30.487630, -87.701121).Alabama State Route 59 passes along the west side of the town, leading north 5 miles (8 km) to Robertsdale and south 6 miles (10 km) to Foley.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 9.7 square miles (25.2 km2), of which 9.7 square miles (25.1 km2) is land and 0.039 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.38%, is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 655 people, 255 households, and 184 families residing in the town. The population density was 125.7 people per square mile (48.5/km²). There were 282 housing units at an average density of 54.1 per square mile (20.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 90.23% White, 4.89% Black or African American, 1.07% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.92% from other races, and 2.75% from two or more races. Nearly 2.29% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 255 households, out of which 34.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.5% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.8% were non-families. 23.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57, and the average family size was 3.04.
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