How to Pick the Right Xray Tech Program near Sylacauga Alabama
So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Sylacauga AL so you can become a radiologic technician. But now that you have chosen to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle choosing the ideal school and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And because the majority of states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it’s important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Many students begin by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and often gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location must be taken into account, there are additional critical qualifiers also. For instance, you should ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this post. But first, let’s explore what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and training options that are available.
Radiology Technician Career Summary in Sylacauga AL
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical major job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, such as mammography. They may practice in Sylacauga AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may 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 also expected to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees Offered near Sylacauga AL
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity 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 based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to four years to finish and is more expansive in scope. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate as well. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Sylacauga AL or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist program, based on the state where you will be practicing you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number approve additional options for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous Sylacauga area employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it could enhance your career options in and around Sylacauga AL to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Schools
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree schools. So although you can still earn your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is often carried out in Sylacauga AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online portion of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Sylacauga residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree often discover that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are often less expensive than on-campus options. In addition to lower tuition, costs for study materials and commuting can be decreased also. But just make sure that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Radiographer Programs
Once you have chosen the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech colleges near Sylacauga AL. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material factor also. But along with cost and location, what more should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray tech colleges have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still imperative to make sure that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected 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 rigorous review of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting agencies 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 assist in acquiring financial assistance 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 a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the xray technician colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Sylacauga AL health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in Sylacauga AL in a new profession can be difficult without support. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Sylacauga AL home. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep 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 need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Sylacauga AL schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program as well.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the xray tech program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Sylacauga AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in an X-ray Tech Program near Sylacauga AL?
If you are considering attending a radiologic technologist school near Sylacauga AL, following is some interesting background information regarding the location of your future campus that may assist you in making your final decision.
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.
The first historical account of the area comes from de Soto's chroniclers as he marched south along the east bank of the Coosa River in 1540, encountering the town of Talisi at the edges of the Mississippian-era chiefdoms of Coosa and Tuskaloosa. The inhabitants of the Coosa River Valley were later united as the Creek Indians, whose encounters with the Spanish and French had a significant influence on the history of Sylacauga. Events that occurred between these three groups were partly responsible for the settlement of the village of Chalakagay in 1748 near modern Sylacauga by refugee Shawnee Indians led by Peter Chartier, and Chalakagay was later listed in the French territorial records in 1759 as being a town inhabited by 50 Shawnee Indian warriors. Late in the summer of 1836 all of the Indians remaining in Alabama were taken west by the United States government. The name Sy-la-cau-ga is derived from the Indian words Chalaka-ge which mean "The Place of the Chalaka Tribe". The city was first incorporated in 1838 as Syllacoga and again in 1887 as Sylacauga.
Several important roads traversed the region as early as the 1830s. Numerous ferries were put across the rivers. In 1852, a plank road was built from Montgomery to Winterboro, Alabama, passing through Sylacauga. The first railroad through Sylacauga was the Anniston and Atlantic Railroad on December 1, 1886. In 1838, the first Sylacauga post office was established, with George Washington Stone, later Chief Justice Stone of Alabama, as postmaster.
Find the Right X Ray Technician Colleges Sylacauga AL
Selecting the appropriate radiology tech school is a crucial first step toward initiating a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs often stand for the greater part of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. You originally came to this website due to an interest in X Ray Technician Colleges. However, as has been discussed in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are looking at prior to making your final selection. This is equally true whether you decide on an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each college so you can focus your choices before making your decision. And with the right training and your dedication to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Sylacauga AL.
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