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Xray Tech Programs
 How to Select the Best One Near Opelika Alabama

Opelika Alabama x ray tech and doctor examining x rayYou are about to start down a career path that will be satisfying both personally and economically as a medical specialist when you enroll in an X-ray tech school near Opelika AL. But just how do you accomplish finding and choosing the right college and program so that you are fully trained and prepared to begin your career of providing superior healthcare services? And since the majority of states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might require training to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. One of the first things that many future students hone in on when starting their search is the distance the schools are from their homes. Next, they check tuition and frequently gravitate toward the lowest cost. But there are additional important qualifications aside from location and cost that must be part of the decision making process as well. As an example, you should inquire about the sponsoring of internship programs, or if the radiology tech schools have one or more accreditations. Below we will provide a complete list of questions that you need to ask the X-ray Tech colleges you are evaluating before making your ultimate selection. But first, let's discuss what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and education options that are offered.

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

Radiology Tech Job Description

There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the same principal job description, 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 treating cancer. Some choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They can work in Opelika AL hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may 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 routinely analyze its functionality and safety. They are also required to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.

Radiology Technician Degrees Offered

Opelika Alabama x-ray technician examining x rayThe standard prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the choice 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 two years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more expansive in nature. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are acceptable as well. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can often be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Opelika AL or their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.

Radiographer Licensing and Certification

Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, depending on the state where you will be employed you may have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do require licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number accept additional options for testing as well. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, many Opelika area employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it could enhance your career options in and around Opelika AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which can be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.

Online Radiology Technologist Classes

Opelika Alabama woman attending online radiology tech classesAs a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree colleges. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is typically conducted in Opelika AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your Opelika home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically find that the online approach to education is much more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are generally more affordable than on-campus alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be reduced as well. But just make certain that the online program you enroll in 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 online classes may be the ideal option for you.

Subjects to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges

When you have decided on the type of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Opelika AL. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material factor as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you consider when comparing schools? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are considering.

Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? Most xray tech colleges have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to verify that the program and school 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). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous examination of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also assist in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might 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 positions.

Are Internships Offered? Ask if the xray technician programs you are evaluating have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Opelika AL medical community and assist with obtaining employment.

Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in Opelika AL in a new field can be challenging without support. Find out if the radiographer programs you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign 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 School Located? For a number of students, the school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Opelika AL home. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Opelika AL schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the xray tech  school you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Opelika AL area, make sure that they are offered. 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, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

Learn More on How to Become an Radiology Technician in Opelika

Choose the Right Opelika Radiology Technician School

Choosing the appropriate x-ray technician degree program is a critical first step toward beginning a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the day and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As has been covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are assessing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is just as true whether you enroll 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 focus your choices and make your decision. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiographer in Opelika Alabama.




 

Opelika X Ray Tech Training | Opelika Radiology Technician Schools