How to Find the Right Xray Tech School near Opelika Alabama
So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Opelika AL so you can train to be a radiology technologist. And now that you have made a decision to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about picking the right school and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a skilled professional? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you might require training to pass a licensing exam. So it’s important that you investigate each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. A number of students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and often gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into account, there are other critical qualifications also. For example, you should find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are provided later in this article. But first, let’s talk about what a radiologic tech does and the credentials and education options that are available.
Radiology Tech Work Summary in Opelika 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. Regardless of the name, each has the same major job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They may work in Opelika AL hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must take care of their equipment and routinely analyze its functionality and safety. They are also expected to keep complete 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 near Opelika AL
The standard prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech school is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity 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 2 years to complete 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 nature. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to bear in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which many schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in Opelika AL or their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may need to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number offer other alternatives for testing also. Some states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, numerous Opelika area employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it might increase 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 other year, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online X-Ray Tech Colleges
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is typically conducted in Opelika AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online segment of the training may be attended in the privacy of your Opelika home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually find that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online colleges are generally more affordable than on-campus options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials can be reduced also. But just be sure that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
As soon as you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of locating and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Opelika AL. You will also need to decide if you want to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be an important variable also. But along with cost and location, what more should you factor in when reviewing schools? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details before you make your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? A large number of xray technician colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still important to verify that the program and school 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 obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the program is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Opelika AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the radiology technician colleges you are interested in have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Opelika AL health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will probably wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that initial job in Opelika AL in a new field 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 large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Opelika AL home. Individuals who have chosen 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 importance. 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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 sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Opelika AL schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the xray technician program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the radiographer college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Opelika AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check 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 may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in an X-ray Tech Program near Opelika AL?
If you are considering attending a radiologic technologist school near Opelika AL, following is some interesting background information regarding the location of your future campus that may assist you in making your final decision.
Opelika (pronounced /ˌoʊpəˈlaɪkə/ OH-pə-LY-kə) is a city in and the county seat of Lee County in the east central part of the U.S. state of Alabama. It is a principal city of the Auburn-Opelika Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of Opelika was 26,401, and in 2018 the estimated population was 30,555. The Auburn-Opelika, AL MSA with a population of 150,933, along with the Columbus, Georgia metropolitan area, comprises the Greater Columbus combined statistical area, a region home to 501,649 residents.
The first white settlers in the area now known as Opelika arrived in the late 1830s and established a community called Lebanon. After the removal of the native Creek (Muscogee) peoples by federal troops in 1836-37, the area became known as "Opelika." This word taken from the Muskogee language means "large swamp".
In 1848, the Montgomery and West Point Railroad Company extended a rail line from Montgomery, Alabama, to Opelika, and in 1851, completed a connection to West Point, Georgia, thus connecting Opelika with Atlanta, Georgia. This line was the only direct rail route between New Orleans and the Eastern Seaboard. It rapidly became one of the primary trade lines for shipments of raw cotton from Southern plantations to the North. The Montgomery and West Point was soon joined by a rail connection to Columbus, Georgia, in 1855, and a connection to Birmingham, Alabama, in 1869. Almost overnight, Opelika became a regional hub for commerce.
To manage this rapid growth, Opelika was incorporated as a town on February 9, 1854, then within Russell County. As a result of Opelika's transportation infrastructure, many warehouses for storing cotton and other goods were built. With the onset of the Civil War, these warehouses were converted to Confederate supply depots. In 1864 and 1865, Union raids commanded by Lovell Rousseau and James H. Wilson attacked Opelika, tearing up the railroads and destroying all government property, including Opelika's warehouses.
Find the Right X Ray Tech Schools Opelika AL
Picking the best x-ray technician college is an important first step toward initiating a gratifying 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 workday and move and at times lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. You originally came to this website due to an interest in X Ray Tech Schools. However, as has been discussed in this report, there are several questions that you should ask each school you are assessing prior to making your ultimate 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 evaluate and compare each school so you can narrow down your options and make your decision. And with the proper education and your commitment to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a radiology tech in Opelika AL.
More Diagnostic Locations in Alabama