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X Ray Technician Courses
 How to Enroll in the Best One Near Athens Alabama

Athens Alabama x ray tech and doctor reviewing x-rayYou are about to embark on a career path that will be satisfying both personally and monetarily as a medical professional when you enroll in an X-ray tech school near Athens AL. But exactly how do you go about finding and selecting the right school and degree program so that you are properly trained and ready to take up the challenge of providing quality healthcare services? And considering that most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you might require training to pass a licensing exam. So it’s important that you compare the schools on your short list by evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of each of their X-ray tech programs. One of the first things that most prospective students hone in on when beginning their search is the distance the schools are from their homes. Next, they compare tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But there are other important qualifications apart from location and cost that should be part of the decision making process as well. For instance, you should inquire about the sponsoring of internship programs, or if the radiology tech schools have one or more accreditations. Below we will provide a complete list of questions that you need to ask the X-ray Technician schools you are evaluating prior to making your final selection. But first, let's talk about what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and training options that are available.

It Only Takes a Few Minutes to Begin Your Career in Radiology

X-Ray Tech Work Description

There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the same principal job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They can practice in Athens AL hospitals, clinics, family 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
  • Fluoroscopy

Radiographers must maintain their equipment and routinely analyze its functionality and safety. They are also required to retain detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.

X-Ray Tech Degrees Available

Athens Alabama x-ray technician examining x rayThe standard prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish 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 extensive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate as well. Something to consider is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may often be satisfied by taking part in an externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in Athens AL or their area. After 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 Certification and Licensing

Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be practicing you might need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so check with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several accept other options for testing as well. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many Athens area employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options in and around Athens AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.

Online Radiology Technician Classes

Athens Alabama female student attending online radiology tech coursesAs a part 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 schools. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is often performed in Athens AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online section of the training can be attended in the comfort of your Athens residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually discover that the online approach to education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently more affordable than traditional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be lessened also. But just confirm that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then online classes may be the best option for you.

What to Ask Radiology Tech Schools

As soon as you have selected the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of looking for and assessing x-ray tech schools near Athens AL. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be an important factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you factor in when evaluating colleges? 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 important details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are reviewing.

Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? Most xray technician schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it's still imperative to confirm that the school and program 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed assessment of their teachers and educational materials. If the college is online it might 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 ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Athens AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level positions.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the xray tech colleges you are assessing have relationships with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Athens AL healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.

Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that first job in Athens AL in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and sought after.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the college they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Athens AL home. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. 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 might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Athens AL colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program also.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the xray tech  college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Athens AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify 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 work, illness or family emergencies.

Find Out How to Become an X-Ray Technician in Athens

Enroll in the Best Athens Radiology Technician Program

Selecting the ideal x-ray tech school is a critical first step toward starting a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the majority of the workday and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver 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 college you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you opt for an online program or commute to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can focus your choices and make your decision. And with the proper training and your commitment to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a radiographer in Athens Alabama.




 

Athens Radiologic Technologist Schools | Athens X Ray Technician Courses