How to Find the Best Radiology Tech Program near Athens Alabama
So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Athens AL in order to become a radiologic technologist. But now that you have decided to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you undertake picking the ideal college and program so that you will get the proper training to become a qualified professional? And since most states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently practice you may need preparation to pass a licensing test. So it’s imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to compare each program. Many potential students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and usually settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location must be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifiers also. For example, you must ask if the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the X-ray Tech schools you are reviewing are presented later in this post. But first, let’s discuss what a radiology technician does and the degrees and education options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Career Summary in Athens AL
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, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the identical fundamental job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to practice as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They may work in Athens AL clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to care for their equipment and also frequently assess its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees near Athens AL
The basic prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech program is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, normally takes 18 months to two years to complete depending on the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at as much as four 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 may be appropriate also. One thing to consider is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may often be satisfied by taking part in an externship program which many schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in Athens AL or their area. After 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 working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, based on the state where you will be practicing you may have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so check with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but several approve other options for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. Having said that, many Athens area employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it may enhance your career options in and around Athens 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 calls for re-certification every 2 years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician 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 programs. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is typically provided in Athens AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your Athens residence. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually find that the online approach to education is far more practical with their active schedules. Plus online schools are frequently cheaper than on-campus alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be reduced also. But just be sure that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
As soon as you have decided on the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of looking for and assessing x-ray technician schools near Athens AL. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be relevant. The cost of tuition and secondary expenditures will be an important factor as well. But along with cost and location, what more should you consider when reviewing schools? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these important details before you make your decision, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? The majority of radiology tech colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still imperative to make sure 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 assessment of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it might also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online 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 premium education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Athens AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the radiology tech schools you are interested in have partnerships with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a way to satisfy the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Athens AL healthcare community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in Athens AL in a new profession can be difficult without help. Ask if the radiographer schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Athens AL residence. Those 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 bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Athens AL colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the xray tech program as well.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the xray tech college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Athens AL area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
X Ray Tech Degree Athens AL
Selecting the best radiology technician degree program is a crucial first step toward launching a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs frequently stand for the greater part of the day and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines developed 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 social skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and furnish the best available patient care. You originally came to this website due to an interest in X Ray Tech Degree and wanting more information on the topic Radiology Tech Degree Programs. However, as has been discussed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are considering before making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online school or commute to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each college so you can focus your choices before making your decision. And with the right training and your motivation to be successful, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Athens AL.
Other Alabama Diagnostic Locations
Athens is a city in Limestone County, in the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 21,897. The city is the county seat of Limestone County and is included in the Huntsville-Decatur-Albertville, AL Combined Statistical Area.
Founded in 1818 by John Coffee, Robert Beaty, John D. Carroll, and John Read, Athens is one of the oldest incorporated cities in the state, having been incorporated one year prior to the state's admittance to the Union in 1819. Limestone County was also created by an act of the Alabama Territorial Legislature in 1818. The town was first called Athenson, but was incorporated as Athens after the ancient city in Greece. The town's first mayor was Samuel Tanner, and the Tanner area, south of Athens, was named on his behalf.
The Athens area was the home of William Wyatt Bibb, the first governor of Alabama, and its second governor, his brother Thomas Bibb, who succeeded him in office when he died in a fall from his horse.