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Radiologic Technician Schools
 How to Pick the Right One Near Athens Alabama

Athens Alabama x ray tech and physician examining x-rayYou are about to embark on a career path that will be satisfying both personally and financially as a medical specialist when you enroll in an X-ray technician school near Athens AL. But exactly how do you go about locating and selecting the best college and degree program so that you are properly trained and ready to begin your career of providing quality healthcare services? And considering that most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you might require training to pass a licensing test. So it's important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to compare each program. One of the first things that many prospective students hone in on when beginning their search is the distance the schools are from their homes. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the most affordable cost. But there are other important criteria apart from cost and location that should be part of the due diligence process as well. As an example, you should inquire about the sponsoring of internship programs, or if the radiology tech colleges have one or more accreditations. These inquiries and others that you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiology tech does and the degrees and training choices that are available.

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

X-Ray Technician Work Description

There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the same major job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They can work in Athens AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might 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 regularly assess its performance and safety. They are additionally required 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.

X-Ray Tech Degrees Available

Athens Alabama x-ray tech examining x rayThe standard prerequisite for attending a radiology tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option 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 2 years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can typically be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which many schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Athens AL or 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.

Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification

After you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be practicing you may need to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary 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 purpose of licensing, but many provide additional options for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many Athens area employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options in and around Athens AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.

Online Radiology Tech Degrees

Athens Alabama woman enrolled in online radiology tech coursesAs a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree programs. So while you can still earn your degree online, a significant amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is often carried out in Athens AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Athens residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree typically discover that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are generally less costly than conventional options. Along with lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be reduced as well. But just make certain that the online school you pick 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 an online school may be the best option for you.

What to Ask Radiology Tech Schools

When you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of searching for and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Athens AL. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important factor as well. But along with location and cost, what more should you look at when reviewing colleges? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the schools you are considering.

Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of xray tech colleges have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still important to make sure that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded 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 an extensive assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online 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 superior education, accreditation will also help in securing financial aid and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Athens AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level positions.

Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the xray tech colleges you are evaluating have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Athens AL healthcare community and assist with job placement.

Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in Athens AL in a new profession can be difficult without support. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Athens AL residence. 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 concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Athens AL schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program as well.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer  college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Athens 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 enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Learn More on How to Become an Radiology Tech in Athens

Enroll in the Right Athens Radiology Tech Program

Selecting the ideal x-ray tech college is a critical first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the workday and move and at times lift the patient to get the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Having social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As has been addressed in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are considering before making your ultimate selection. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online school or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can focus your choices before making your final choice. And with the proper education and your motivation to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiology tech in Athens Alabama.




 

Athens X Ray Tech Training | Athens Radiology Technician Schools