How to Choose the Right X-Ray Tech College near Oxford Alabama
So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Oxford AL in order to learn to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you tackle choosing the right college and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a qualified professional? And since most states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you may require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it’s imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. A number of students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost should be taken into consideration, there are other important qualifications as well. For instance, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let’s talk about what a radiology technician does and the degrees and training choices that are available.
Radiology Tech Job Summary in Oxford AL
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the identical principal job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They may practice in Oxford AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to maintain their equipment plus frequently assess its functionality and safety. They are also expected to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees Offered near Oxford AL
The primary requirement for attending an x-ray tech college is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, usually takes 18 months to two years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to finish and is more expansive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are acceptable also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can often be satisfied by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Oxford AL or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be working you might need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many provide other options for testing also. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, many Oxford area employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options in and around Oxford AL to become certified. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Programs
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is typically carried out in Oxford AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your Oxford home. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically find that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are often cheaper than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be lessened also. But just make sure that the online program you choose 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 degree may be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
As soon as you have selected the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of finding and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Oxford AL. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a determining variable also. But along with location and cost, what more should you look at when evaluating schools? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Schools Accredited? Most radiology tech schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it’s still important to verify that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly regarded 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 rigorous examination of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it may also obtain 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. Along with guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Oxford AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level positions.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the radiology technician schools you are assessing have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional connections in the Oxford AL health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in Oxford AL in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Oxford AL home. Those who have decided to attend classes online obviously 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 bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Oxford AL schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. 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 a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the xray tech college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Oxford AL area, check 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 carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an X-ray Tech Program near Oxford AL?
If you are considering attending a radiologic technologist school near Oxford AL, following is some interesting background information regarding the location of your future campus that may assist you in making your final decision.
Oxford is a city in Calhoun and Talladega counties in the State of Alabama. The population was 21,348 at the 2010 census, an increase of 46.3% since the 2000 Census. Oxford is one of two principal cities of and included in the Anniston-Oxford Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Founded in the early 1850s, Oxford was the first city in Calhoun County to be incorporated, in 1852. The name "Oxford" was due to the presence of a narrow crossing of Chocolocco Creek that allowed farmers to ford cattle from one side of the creek to the other. Since 1970, Oxford has annexed large amounts of land to the south and west, including the communities of Coldwater and Bynum. In 1970, it was all in Calhoun County, but today it includes areas in Talladega County.
A smaller municipality, Hobson City, was once a part of Oxford. The area, then known as the Mooree Quarter, is one square mile, and is located north and west of Oxford, and south and west of Anniston. In the last years of the 19th century, according to tradition, in the course of political elections, a black man managed to be elected justice of the peace in Oxford. This being unacceptable to the city fathers, they appealed to the powers in the state capital, and an 'arrangement' was made. The city boundaries were redrawn, in similar fashion to a gerrymander, and the quarter was excluded, becoming a town unto itself. The new town became incorporated on August 16, 1899 as Hobson City, taking the name of a naval hero of the Spanish–American War. The intention was that the largely black population of this quarter would no longer skew the elections of the now almost exclusively white Oxford. Another result was the creation of only the second town in the United States (after Eatonville, Florida) with 100% black government, and an almost 100% black population (at least at first).
Oxford lies among the foothills at the southern end of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Nearby Cheaha Mountain is Alabama's highest point and offers expansive views of the surrounding wilderness and the city below. Much of the city's southern border is shared with the Talladega National Forest.
Find the Right Radiology Tech School Oxford AL
Enrolling in the right radiology tech college is an important first step toward initiating a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs typically stand for the majority of the workday and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed 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. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and furnish the best available patient care. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Radiology Tech School. However, as has been covered in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each college you are assessing before making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can focus your options before making your final choice. And with the right training and your commitment to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a radiographer in Oxford AL.
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