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X-Ray Tech Colleges
 How to Select the Right One Near Dothan Alabama

Dothan Alabama x ray tech and doctor examining x-raySo you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray technician school near Dothan AL in order to learn to be a radiologic technician. But just how do you accomplish finding and selecting the right school and program so that you are fully trained and prepared to begin your career of providing quality healthcare services? And depending on where you eventually choose to practice, you will likely need to pass a licensing test since most states do require that x-ray techs be licensed. So it's important that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Many prospective students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into consideration, there are other critical qualifiers as well. For instance, you should ask if the schools sponsor internship programs, or if the radiology technician schools have earned any accreditations. Below we will provide a detailed list of questions that you need to ask the X-ray Technician programs you are evaluating before making your final selection. But first, let's explore what a radiology technician does and the credentials and education choices that are available.

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X-Ray Tech Occupation Summary

There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same primary job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They may work in Dothan AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might utilize include:

  • Traditional and specialized X-Rays
  • Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Sonography or ultrasound
  • Fluoroscopy

Radiographers must care for their equipment and also routinely analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally required 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.

X-Ray Tech Degrees Offered

Dothan Alabama x-ray technician examining x rayThe basic prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may typically be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Dothan AL or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.

X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification

Once you have graduated from an Radiologist program, based on the state where you will be working you might need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number offer additional alternatives for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, numerous Dothan area employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it may enhance your career options in and around Dothan AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.

Online X-Ray Technologist Colleges

Dothan Alabama woman enrolled in online radiology technician coursesAs a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So even though you can still obtain your degree online, a large amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is often performed in Dothan AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your Dothan residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually discover that the online style of education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are often cheaper than conventional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be reduced also. But just confirm that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the ideal option for you.

Questions to Ask Radiographer Schools

After you have selected the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of looking for and assessing x-ray tech schools near Dothan AL. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or drive to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a determining factor also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you look at when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are looking at.

Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it's still crucial to make sure 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 receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Dothan AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level positions.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the radiology technician colleges you are assessing have relationships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Dothan AL health care community and help with obtaining employment.

Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in Dothan AL in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the radiographer 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 large networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and sought after.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Dothan AL residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Dothan AL schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program as well.

Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the xray tech  program you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Dothan AL area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

More Info on How to Become an X-Ray Technician in Dothan

Choose the Right Dothan Radiology Tech School

Picking the ideal radiology tech degree program is a crucial first step toward initiating a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the day and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements designed 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. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best available patient care. As has been discussed in this post, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. This is just as true whether you participate in an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the proper education and your motivation to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Dothan Alabama.




 

Dothan Radiology Tech Schools | Dothan Schools For X Ray Techs