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Radiologic Technician Schools
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X Ray Tech Schools
 How to Choose the Best One Near Opelika Alabama

Opelika 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 professional when you enroll in an X-ray technician school near Opelika AL. But now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about picking the ideal school and program so that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified professional? And because the majority of states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it’s critical that you compare the colleges 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 focus in on when starting their search is how far the schools are from their homes. Next, they compare tuition and frequently gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost should be considered, there are other significant qualifiers as well. For instance, you should ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others that you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let's explore what a radiology tech does and the credentials and education choices that are available.

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

X-Ray Tech Occupation Summary

There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the same primary job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some choose to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They can practice in Opelika AL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might utilize include:

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

Radiographers must take care of their equipment and also routinely evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.

Radiology Tech Degrees Offered

Opelika Alabama x-ray technician examining x rayThe basic requirement for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among techs, generally requires 18 months to two years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to finish and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate as well. Something to consider is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can typically be satisfied by taking part in an externship program which many colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Opelika AL or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.

X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing

After you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be practicing you might need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so check with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but a number offer additional alternatives for testing also. A number of states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is optional. Having said that, many Opelika area employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase your career options in and around Opelika AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.

Online X-Ray Technician Schools

Opelika Alabama female student attending online radiology technician classesAs a part of any 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 colleges. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is usually provided in Opelika AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training can be attended in the comfort of your Opelika home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often find that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently less costly than on-campus alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be reduced also. But just confirm that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the right choice for you.

Topics to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs

Once you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Opelika AL. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be an important factor also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you factor in when comparing colleges? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are assessing.

Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? Most radiology technician schools have acquired some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still crucial to verify that the program and school 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). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Opelika AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level openings.

Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the xray tech colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Opelika AL medical community and help with job placement.

Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in Opelika AL in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their success 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 in demand.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the school they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Opelika AL home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Opelika AL schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program also.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the xray tech  program you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Opelika AL area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

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

Enroll in the Best Opelika Radiology Tech Program

Choosing the ideal radiology tech college is a crucial first step toward launching a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the majority of the day and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As has been covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are considering before making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you opt for an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each college so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the proper training and your motivation to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Opelika Alabama.




 

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