How to Select the Right X-Ray Technician Program near Anniston Alabama
So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Anniston AL so you can become a radiologic technologist. But now that you have chosen to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you set about choosing the ideal college and program so that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And since most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it’s essential that you assess each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. A number of students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into account, there are other important qualifications as well. For instance, you must ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this article. But first, let’s explore what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and training options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Work Description in Anniston AL
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the same major job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many opt to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They can work in Anniston AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to maintain their equipment and also frequently evaluate its performance and safety. They are also required to keep complete 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 Degrees Offered near Anniston AL
The primary requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, normally 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 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in scope. Most students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable also. Something to bear in mind is that radiographer schools 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 schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in Anniston AL or their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, based on the state where you will be working you may need to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many provide additional options for testing as well. Some states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous Anniston area employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it may increase your career options in and around Anniston AL to become certified. 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 satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Colleges
As a part of every 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 even though you can still obtain your degree online, a large portion of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is usually carried out in Anniston AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training can be attended in the comfort of your Anniston home. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online style of education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online programs are frequently cheaper than traditional alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials may be decreased as well. But just be sure 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.
Subjects to Ask Radiographer Colleges
Once you have selected the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and assessing x-ray technician colleges near Anniston AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be important. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material factor also. But along with location and cost, what else should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you need to ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? Most radiology tech colleges have earned some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still important to make sure that the school and program 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 earning accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Anniston AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the radiology tech schools you are interested in have associations with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Anniston AL medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in Anniston AL in a new profession can be difficult without support. Ask if the radiographer schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement 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 students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Anniston AL residence. Those who have decided to attend classes online obviously 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 decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly 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 Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Anniston AL schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher 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 an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the xray tech program you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Anniston AL area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in an X-ray Tech Program near Anniston AL?
If you are considering attending a radiologic technologist school near Anniston AL, following is some interesting background information regarding the location of your future campus that may assist you in making your final decision.
Anniston is the county seat of Calhoun County in Alabama and is one of two urban centers/principal cities of and included in the Anniston-Oxford Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 23,106. According to 2013 Census estimates, the city had a population of 22,666.
Though the surrounding area was settled much earlier, the mineral resources in the area of Anniston were not exploited until the Civil War. The Confederate States of America then operated an iron furnace near present-day downtown Anniston, until it was finally destroyed by raiding Union cavalry in early 1865. Later, cast iron for sewer systems became the focus of Anniston's industrial output. Cast iron pipe, also called soil pipe, was popular until the advent of plastic pipe in the 1960s.
In 1872, the Woodstock Iron Company, organized by Samuel Noble and Union Gen. Daniel Tyler, rebuilt the furnace on a much larger scale, and started a planned community named Woodstock, soon renamed "Annie's Town" for Annie Scott Tyler, Daniel's daughter and wife of railroad president Alfred L. Tyler. Anniston was chartered as a town in 1873.
Though the roots of the town's economy were in iron, steel and pipe clay, planners touted it as a health resort, and several hotels began operating. Schools also appeared, including the Noble Institute, a school for girls established in 1886, and the Alabama Presbyterian College for Men, founded in 1905. Careful planning and easy access to rail transportation helped make Anniston the fifth largest city in the state from the 1890s to the 1950s.
Find the Right X Ray Tech Programs Anniston AL
Choosing the best x-ray technician school is a critical first step toward beginning a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the greater part of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. You originally came to this website due to an interest in X Ray Tech Programs. However, as we have discussed in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are considering prior to making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can focus your options before making your decision. And with the proper education and your commitment to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to work as a X-ray tech in Anniston AL.
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