How to Pick the Right Radiology Tech School near Dothan Alabama
So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Dothan AL in order to train to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake selecting the right college and program so 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, based on where you subsequently work you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s imperative that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. A number of potential students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while cost and location must be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifiers also. For example, you must ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let’s explore what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and education options that are available.
Radiology Tech Work Summary in Dothan AL
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the identical principal job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They may practice in Dothan AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may 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 routinely evaluate its performance and safety. They are also required to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degree Options near Dothan AL
The primary prerequisite for attending a radiology tech school is to have attained 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 typical among technicians, usually requires 18 months to two years to complete 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 expansive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate as well. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can often be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Dothan AL or their region. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, based on the state where you will be working you might need to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so get in touch with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several accept additional alternatives for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is voluntary. Having said that, many Dothan area employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options in and around Dothan AL to become certified. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Schools
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is usually conducted in Dothan AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training may be attended in the privacy of your Dothan residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often find that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are frequently more affordable than conventional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be reduced as well. But just be sure that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Radiographer Colleges
Once you have decided on the type of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Dothan AL. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a determining factor as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? A large number of xray tech colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it’s still imperative to make sure that the program and school are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Dothan AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the radiology tech colleges you are evaluating have associations with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Dothan AL medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in Dothan AL in a new profession can be difficult without help. Ask if the radiographer schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Dothan AL home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Dothan AL colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Dothan AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in an X-ray Tech Program near Dothan AL?
If you are considering attending a radiologic technologist school near Dothan AL, following is some interesting background information regarding the location of your future campus that may assist you in making your final decision.
Dothan /ˈdoʊθən/ is a city in Dale, Henry, and Houston counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. It is the county seat of Houston County and the seventh largest city in Alabama, with a population of 65,496 at the 2010 census. It is near the state's southeastern corner, approximately 20 miles (32 km) west of the Georgia state line and 16 miles (26 km) north of Florida. It is named after the biblical city, the place where Joseph's brothers threw him into a cistern and sold him into slavery in Egypt.
Dothan is the principal city of the Dothan, Alabama metropolitan area, which encompasses all of Geneva, Henry, and Houston counties; the small portion in Dale County is part of the Ozark Micropolitan Statistical Area. The combined population of the entire Dothan metropolitan area in 2010 was 145,639. The city serves as the main transportation and commercial hub for a significant part of southeastern Alabama, southwest Georgia, and nearby portions of the Florida Panhandle. Since approximately one-fourth of the U.S. peanut crop is produced nearby, much of it processed in the city, Dothan is known as "The Peanut Capital of the World". It also hosts the annual National Peanut Festival at the dedicated "Peanut Festival Fairgrounds".
The area that is now Dothan was inhabited for thousands of years by successive cultures of indigenous peoples. In historic times it was occupied by the Alabama and Creek Native American tribes who were hunters and gatherers in the vast forests of pine that covered this region. These tribes had developed complex cultures, and often used to meet and camp for trading near a large spring at the crossroads of two trails.
Between 1763 and 1783, the region that is now Dothan was part of the colony of British West Florida. European-American settlers moving through the area during the late 18th and early 19th centuries discovered the Indian spring, naming it "Poplar Head". Most felt that the sandy soil common to this region would be unsuitable for farming, so they moved on.
Find the Right Radiology Tech Courses Dothan AL
Choosing the best radiology technician school is a crucial first step toward beginning a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians 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 possible care to patients. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Radiology Tech Courses. However, as has been covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are assessing before making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can narrow down your options and make your final choice. And with the proper training and your motivation to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiographer in Dothan AL.
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