How to Choose a Radiologic Technician School near Sylacauga Alabama
Best wishes regarding your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Sylacauga AL so you can become a radiology technologist. But now that you have made a decision to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about choosing the ideal school and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And because the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you may need training to pass a licensing test. So it’s imperative that you investigate each of the schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Most prospective students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location should be taken into account, there are other important qualifications also. For instance, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the schools you are reviewing are presented later in this post. But first, let’s discuss what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and training options that are available.
Radiology Technician Career Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the identical primary job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They can work in Sylacauga AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may utilize 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 functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Sylacauga AL health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees
The basic requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, generally takes 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to four years to complete and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate as well. Something to bear in mind is that Sylacauga AL radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can often be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech school, based on the state where you will be practicing you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so contact your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number provide additional options for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, many Sylacauga AL employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it could improve your career options to earn certification. 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 can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Classes
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree programs. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is usually performed in local family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your Sylacauga AL residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree often find that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are often less costly than on-campus options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be decreased also. But just make sure that the online school 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 online classes may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Radiographer Programs
As soon as you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of finding and evaluating Sylacauga AL x-ray tech 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 relevant. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important variable as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you consider when comparing colleges? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? A large number of radiology tech schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it’s still crucial to verify that the program and school 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it can also receive 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. Besides guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Sylacauga AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the Alabama xray technician colleges you are evaluating have relationships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Sylacauga AL health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in a new profession can be challenging without support. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Sylacauga AL healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Sylacauga AL home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps 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 normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Sylacauga AL schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher 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 a chance to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the x-ray tech program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in Sylacauga AL, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Why Did You Want to Become a Radiologic Technologist?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's a good idea to consider questions you could be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask radiographer candidates is "What made you choose radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being an Xray technician, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to radiography, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize several strategies about how you want to answer them. Because there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the talents you possess that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the leading candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Enroll in the Ideal Radiology Technician College near Sylacauga AL
Enrolling in the ideal x-ray tech degree program is an important first step toward initiating a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the working day and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and provide the best available patient care. As has been addressed in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are considering prior to making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a radiology tech in Sylacauga AL.
Some Background on Sylacauga Alabama
Sylacauga is a city in Talladega County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 12,749.
Nicknames for Sylacauga include "The Marble City" and "Alabama’s Best-Kept Secret".
Sylacauga is known for its fine white marble bedrock. This was discovered shortly after settlers moved into the area and has been quarried ever since. The marble industry was the first recorded industry in the Sylacauga area.
Sylacauga is the site of the first documented case of an object from outer space hitting a person. On November 30, 1954, a 4 kg (9 lb) piece of what became known as the Hodges Meteorite crashed through the roof of an Oak Grove house, bounced off a radio, and badly bruised Mrs. Ann Hodges, who was taking an afternoon nap.
Sylacauga is on the 2010 list of "100 Best Communities for Young People" by America's Promise Alliance.
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