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Radiologic Tech Programs
 How to Choose the Best One Near Opelika Alabama

Opelika Alabama x ray technician and doctor reviewing x-raySo you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Opelika AL in order to learn to be a radiology technician. But just how do you go about locating and choosing the best school and degree program so that you are properly trained and prepared to begin your career of providing quality healthcare services? And because most states do mandate that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently work you might need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it's imperative that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. To start, one of the important qualifications that most prospective students hone in on when starting their search is how far the schools are from their homes. Cost is obviously a consideration, and students often gravitate toward the school with the most affordable tuition. But while cost and location should be taken into consideration, there are additional significant qualifications as well. For example, you must ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. Below we will provide a complete list of questions that you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. But first, let's explore what a radiology tech does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.

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

Radiology Technician Career Summary

X-ray techs are a category of radiologic technologist, which is a healthcare professional that specializes in using diagnostic imagery equipment. X-ray technicians are tasked with readying patients for imaging procedures, operating and maintaining equipment, and working 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 many types of Opelika AL healthcare facilities, to include clinics, diagnostic labs and urgent care centers. Although it varies by facility, some X-ray techs will be called on to work evenings, weekends and even holidays to provide emergency services for patients. An X-ray technician’s job location also has some impact on their routine job duties. They can work at outpatient 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 plenty of options for X-ray technicians to work in healthcare facilities that match their scheduling needs, interests and specialties.

Radiology Tech Degree Options

Opelika Alabama radiology tech reviewing x rayThe basic requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have received a high school diploma or GED. 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 technicians, usually takes 18 months to two years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as four years to complete and is more extensive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be appropriate also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Opelika AL or their area. 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.

Radiographer Licensing and Certification

Once you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be working you may have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several accept other alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous Opelika area employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may improve your career options in and around Opelika AL to earn certification. ARRT's certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.

Online Radiology Technician Programs

Opelika Alabama female student enrolled in online radiology tech coursesAs a part of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree colleges. So although you can still earn your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is typically performed in Opelika AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training can be accessed in the comfort of your Opelika residence. Students who keep working while earning their degree often discover that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are frequently cheaper than conventional options. Along with reduced tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be lessened as well. But just be sure that the online school you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the ideal option for you.

Questions to Ask Radiographer Schools

Once you have chosen the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Opelika AL. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important factor as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you consider when comparing colleges? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are reviewing.

Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? A large number of radiology tech colleges have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it's still imperative to confirm that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive evaluation of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it might also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Opelika AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level jobs.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the xray tech colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Opelika AL healthcare community and assist with job placement.

Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will undoubtedly want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in Opelika AL in a new profession can be difficult without support. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Opelika AL home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something 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 might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Opelika AL colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program as well.

Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the radiographer  school you ultimately pick can offer 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 offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.

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

Enroll in the Best Opelika X-Ray Technician Program

Selecting the appropriate radiology technician college is a critical first step toward initiating a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the day and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a necessity in order to have a productive work environment and furnish the best possible care to patients. As has been covered in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each school you are assessing prior to making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each school so you can focus your options before making your decision. And with the proper training and your dedication to be successful, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Opelika Alabama.




 

Opelika How To Become A Radiology Technician | Opelika X Ray Technician Schools