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X Ray Tech Training Programs
 How to Pick the Right One Near Oxford Alabama

Oxford Alabama x ray technician and doctor examining x rayYou are about to embark on a career path that will be rewarding both personally and financially as a medical specialist when you enroll in an X-ray technician school near Oxford AL. But just how do you go about locating and choosing the best school and program so that you are fully trained and ready to take up the challenge of providing quality healthcare services? And depending on where you eventually choose to practice, you will likely have to pass a licensing test since the majority of states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed. So it’s critical that you compare the colleges on your short list by assessing the pros and cons of each of their X-ray tech programs. Many prospective students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost must be considered, there are additional important qualifications as well. For instance, you must find out if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others that you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a radiology tech does and the degrees and education options that are available.

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

Radiology Technician Work Summary

There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the identical principal job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They may work in Oxford AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may work with include:

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

Radiographers have to maintain their equipment and routinely assess its functionality and safety. They are also required to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.

Radiology Tech Degree Options

Oxford Alabama x-ray tech examining x rayThe standard requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech college 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 technicians, usually requires 18 months to two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to complete and is more extensive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be appropriate also. Something to consider is that radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Oxford AL or their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.

X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification

When you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be working you might need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements differ so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many offer additional options for testing also. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous Oxford area employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it could enhance your career options in and around Oxford AL to earn certification. 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 other year, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.

Online X-Ray Tech Degrees

Oxford Alabama woman enrolled in online radiology tech classesAs a part of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is typically carried out in Oxford AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your Oxford home. Students who continue working while earning their degree often find that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are often less expensive than traditional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting may be reduced as well. But just confirm that the online college you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the best option for you.

Subjects to Ask Radiology Tech Programs

After you have selected the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of finding and assessing x-ray tech schools near Oxford AL. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or commute 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 supplementary expenses will be a determining variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you factor in when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are assessing.

Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? The majority of xray tech colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it's still imperative to make sure 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed assessment of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Oxford AL employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level positions.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the radiology technician colleges you are assessing have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Oxford AL healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.

Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that initial job in Oxford AL in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are considering have job placement programs and what their success 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 confirms that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Oxford AL residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear 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 might 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.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom 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 Oxford AL schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program as well.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer  program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Oxford AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.

More Info on How to Become an X-Ray Tech in Oxford

Choose the Best Oxford Radiology Tech Program

Selecting the appropriate radiology technician degree program is a critical first step toward starting a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the working day and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements designed 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 interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As has been addressed in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices before making your decision. And with the appropriate training and your dedication to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Oxford Alabama.




 

Oxford Radiology Technician Schools | Oxford Radiologic Technician Schools