How to Choose the Right Radiologic Tech College near Wetumpka Alabama
So you have made the decision to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Wetumpka AL in order to train to be a radiologic technologist. But now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you tackle choosing the ideal college and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a skilled professional? And since most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you may require training to pass a licensing exam. So it’s important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Most prospective students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and often gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while cost and location must be taken into consideration, there are other significant qualifications also. For instance, you need to find out whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are examining are provided later in this article. But first, let’s explore what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and education choices that are available.
Radiology Technician Job Description in Wetumpka AL
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, they all have the same major job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They can work in Wetumpka 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
Radiographers must take care of their equipment and also routinely analyze its performance and safety. They are also required to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Available near Wetumpka AL
The primary requirement for attending a radiology tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, generally takes 18 months to two years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that may be acceptable also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Wetumpka AL or their region. After you have graduated from any 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 Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, depending on the state where you will be working you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but many offer other options for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. However, many Wetumpka area employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it could improve your career options in and around Wetumpka AL to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Programs
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 no different for online degree colleges. So although you can still earn your degree online, a substantial portion of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is typically performed in Wetumpka AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Wetumpka residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online style of education is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are frequently more affordable than traditional options. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. But just confirm that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online school may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask X Ray Tech Programs
After you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to obtain, you can initiate the process of looking for and assessing x-ray technician schools near Wetumpka 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 naturally the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining factor as well. But in addition to location and cost, what else should you look at when evaluating schools? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details prior to making your decision, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are considering.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? The majority of radiology tech colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. However, it’s still imperative to make sure that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting agencies in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive examination of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Wetumpka AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry level positions.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the radiology technician colleges you are evaluating have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Wetumpka AL health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in Wetumpka AL in a new field can be challenging without help. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have large networks and great relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the school they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Wetumpka AL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area 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 might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Wetumpka AL schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the radiographer school you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Wetumpka AL area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in an X-ray Tech Program near Wetumpka AL?
If you are considering attending a radiologic technologist school near Wetumpka AL, following is some interesting background information regarding the location of your future campus that may assist you in making your final decision.
Wetumpka is a city in and the county seat of Elmore County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 6,528. In the early 21st century, Elmore County, long a rural area, became one of the fastest-growing counties in the state. The city is considered part of the Montgomery Metropolitan Area.
Wetumpka identifies as "The City of Natural Beauty". Among the notable landmarks are the Wetumpka crater and the Jasmine Hill Gardens, with a full-sized replica of the Temple of Hera of Olympia, Greece. Historic downtown Wetumpka developed on both sides of the Coosa River. It was near Fort Toulouse, built by French colonists in 1717, when they had claimed this territory for the king.
The word Wetumpka is derived from the Muscogee language (Creek) phrase we-wau tum-cau. The name Wetumpka is a historic Creek place word meaning "rumbling waters", believed to be a description of the sound of the nearby Coosa River at the rapids of the Devil's Staircase. The roar of the rapids reportedly could be heard for miles before the construction in the 20th century of Walter Bouldin Dam and Jordan Dam, when the river was captured as a reservoir behind the dam.
After being forced west to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma), by United States soldiers under the Indian Removal Act of 1830, the Muscogee named their major settlement there Wetumka, after their historic village.
Find the Right Radiologic Technologist Training Wetumpka AL
Selecting the appropriate x-ray technician school is a critical first step toward starting a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the day and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Radiologic Technologist Training. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are assessing prior to making your final selection. This is equally true whether you opt for an online program or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can narrow down your options before making your final choice. And with the appropriate training and your dedication to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiographer in Wetumpka AL.
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