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Radiologic Technician Colleges
 How to Select the Right One Near Dothan Alabama

Dothan Alabama x ray tech and physician reviewing x-raySo you have decided to enroll in an X-ray technician school near Dothan AL in order to learn to be a radiology technician. But exactly how do you go about finding and choosing the right college and program so that you are fully trained and ready to begin your career of providing quality healthcare services? And because most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's essential that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Most students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into consideration, there are additional important qualifiers as well. For instance, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others that you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this post. But first, let's talk about what a x-ray tech does and the degrees and education options that are available.

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

X-Ray Tech Career Summary

There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same fundamental job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They can practice in Dothan AL clinics, hospitals, family 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 have to take care of their equipment and routinely analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.

Radiology Tech Degrees Offered

Dothan Alabama radiology tech reviewing x rayThe standard prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray 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 requires 18 months to 2 years to finish depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at as much as 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are appropriate as well. One thing to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It may often be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which many schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Dothan AL or their area. 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 Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be employed you may have to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several approve additional alternatives for testing also. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous Dothan area employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might improve your career options in and around Dothan AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.

Online X-Ray Technologist Classes

Dothan Alabama woman enrolled in online radiology technician classesAs a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges 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 earn your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is usually performed in Dothan AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your Dothan residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online style of education is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are often more affordable than conventional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be decreased as well. But just confirm that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the ideal choice for you.

Questions to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges

As soon as you have decided on the type of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray technician schools near Dothan AL. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be a determining factor as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are assessing.

Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? The majority of radiology tech schools have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still important to confirm that the program and school are accredited. Among 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 undergone an extensive evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets 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 guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Dothan AL health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level positions.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the radiology tech programs you are interested in have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Dothan AL healthcare community and help with job placement.

Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in Dothan AL in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are interviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and in demand.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they select will have to be within driving distance of their Dothan AL home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes 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 college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Dothan 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program as well.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the xray tech  school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Dothan AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.

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

Choose the Right Dothan X-Ray Technician School

Selecting the right x-ray tech degree program is a crucial first step toward beginning a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the day and position and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to 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 deliver the best available patient care. As has been discussed in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are considering before making your final selection. This is similarly true whether you participate in an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can focus your options and make your final choice. And with the right training and your motivation to be successful, you can achieve your goal to practice as a X-ray tech in Dothan Alabama.




 

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