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Radiology Tech Degree Programs
 How to Find the Right One Near Auburn Alabama

Auburn Alabama x ray technician and doctor reviewing x-raySo you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Auburn AL so you can become a radiologic technologist. But now that you have made a decision to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle selecting the right college and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And because most states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you may require training to pass a licensing test. So it’s critical that you compare the colleges you are considering by assessing the strengths and weaknesses of each of their X-ray technician programs. One of the first things that most future students focus in on when starting their search is how far the schools are from their homes. Cost is also important, and students often gravitate toward the school with the most affordable tuition. But while expense and location need to be taken into consideration, there are other critical qualifications as well. For instance, you should ask if the schools sponsor internship programs, or if the radiology tech schools have one or more accreditations. These questions and others that you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and education choices that are offered.

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X-Ray Tech Occupation Description

X-ray techs are a type of radiologic technologist, which is a medical professional that specializes in using diagnostic imagery equipment. X-ray technicians are tasked with preparing patients for imaging procedures, maintaining and operating equipment, and collaborating with physicians to analyze the results of an imaging scan. More than half of all radiologic techs are employed in hospitals, however X-ray techs are important providers in a number of different Auburn AL medical facilities, to include clinics, diagnostic labs and urgent care centers. Depending on the facility, some X-ray technicians will be called on to work holidays, weekends or overnight to provide emergency services for patients. An X-ray technician’s work location also has some bearing on their daily job functions. They can work at clinics where they may triage patients by taking their vitals, ask medical history questions and perform simple lab procedures. In larger facilities, they may assist during surgical procedures with the use of fluoroscopy. There are numerous options for X-ray techs to work in medical facilities that meet their scheduling needs, interests and specialties.

Radiology Tech Degrees Offered

Auburn Alabama x-ray tech reviewing x rayThe primary requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, normally takes 18 months to two years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as four years to finish and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Auburn AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.

Radiographer Certification and Licensing

After you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, based on the state where you will be working you might have to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so check with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several accept additional alternatives for testing as well. Several states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, many Auburn area employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options in and around Auburn AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.

Online X-Ray Technician Colleges

Auburn Alabama woman attending online x ray technician classesAs a component of every 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 schools. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a large portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Practical training is usually conducted in Auburn AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your Auburn home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online schools are generally less expensive than traditional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be decreased as well. But just make sure that the online school you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the right choice for you.

What to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges

As soon as you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of locating and assessing x-ray tech schools near Auburn AL. You will also have to determine if you want to attend online classes or drive to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining variable as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you factor in when reviewing schools? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are reviewing.

Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of radiology tech colleges have acquired some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still important to confirm that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded 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 gone through an extensive assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Auburn AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level openings.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the xray technician colleges you are evaluating have relationships with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Auburn AL healthcare community and help with job placement.

Is Job Placement Help provided? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that first job in Auburn AL in a new profession can be challenging without support. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job placement 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 confirms that their students are well regarded and sought after.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Auburn AL home. Students who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Auburn AL colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology tech program also.

Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the radiographer  college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Auburn 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, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.

More Info on How to Become an Radiology Tech in Auburn

Enroll in the Right Auburn X-Ray Tech Program

Choosing the best radiology tech college is an important first step toward starting a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the day and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As we have covered in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. This is equally true whether you participate in an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each program so you can focus your choices and make your decision. And with the right training and your motivation to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Auburn Alabama.




 

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