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X-Ray Technician Programs
 How to Pick the Best One Near Phenix City Alabama

Phenix City Alabama x ray technician and doctor examining x rayYou are about to embark on a career path that will be satisfying both personally and monetarily as a medical specialist when you enroll in an X-ray tech school near Phenix City AL. But exactly how do you accomplish finding and choosing the best college and degree program so that you are properly trained and prepared to take up the challenge of providing superior healthcare services? And based on where you ultimately choose to practice, you will likely need to pass a licensing test since most states do require that x-ray technicians be licensed. So it’s critical that you compare the colleges you are considering by assessing the strengths and weaknesses of each of their X-ray technician programs. Most prospective students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Cost is obviously a consideration, and students too often settle on the school with the lowest tuition. But while cost and location should be taken into consideration, there are additional critical qualifiers as well. As an example, you should ask if the schools sponsor internship programs, or if the radiology technician colleges have received any accreditations. These questions and others that you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are presented later in this post. But first, let's explore what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and education choices that are available.

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

Radiology Technician Career Summary

There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, each has the same major job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, such as mammography. They may work in Phenix City 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 must take care of their equipment and routinely analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to keep detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.

X-Ray Technician Degree Options

Phenix City Alabama radiology tech reviewing x rayThe standard requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, normally takes 18 months to two 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 scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are appropriate also. Something to consider is that radiographer programs have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may typically be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Phenix City AL or their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.

Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification

After you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, depending on the state where you will be employed you might need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites differ so check with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many provide other alternatives for testing also. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, numerous Phenix City area employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may increase your career options in and around Phenix City AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.

Online X-Ray Technician Classes

Phenix City Alabama woman 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 course of study. This is the same for online degree colleges. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a substantial portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often provided in Phenix City AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Phenix City home. Students who keep working while earning their degree often find that the online approach to learning is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are frequently cheaper than on-campus options. Along with reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be reduced as well. But just confirm that the online college you choose is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online school may be the right option for you.

Questions to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges

As soon as you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of finding and assessing x-ray technician schools near Phenix City AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be an important variable also. But along with cost and location, what else should you look at when comparing schools? Well, you should find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are reviewing.

Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of xray technician colleges have earned some form 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 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 undergone a rigorous review 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 education. 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 help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Phenix City AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level openings.

Are Internships Provided? Ask if the radiology tech programs you are reviewing have partnerships with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional connections in the Phenix City AL medical community and help with job placement.

Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in Phenix City AL in a new profession can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Phenix City AL residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need 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 type of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Phenix City AL colleges you are reviewing 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program also.

Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer  school you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Phenix City AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

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

Enroll in the Right Phenix City X-Ray Technician School

Selecting the appropriate x-ray tech college is a crucial first step toward launching a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs typically stand for the greater part of the workday and move and in some cases 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 requirements developed 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 good work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As has been discussed in this report, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each program you are assessing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you participate in an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the proper training and your motivation to be successful, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Phenix City Alabama.




 

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