How to Find the Best X Ray Technician Program near Opelika Alabama
So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Opelika AL in order to become a radiologic technician. And now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you undertake choosing the right school and program to ensure that you will obtain the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And since the majority of states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you might need training to pass a licensing test. So it’s important that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. Most students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into consideration, there are other important qualifiers as well. For instance, you should find out if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are evaluating are provided later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and education options that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Career Summary in Opelika AL
There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the same major job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They can practice in Opelika AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may 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 also regularly assess its functionality and safety. They are also expected to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degree Options near Opelika AL
The basic requirement for attending an x-ray tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to complete and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other similar majors that are acceptable also. Something to keep in mind is that radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can frequently be satisfied by taking part in an externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in Opelika AL or their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Alabama or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an Radiologist college, based on the state where you will be employed you might have to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria vary so check with your state. Presently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many accept additional alternatives for testing as well. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is optional. However, many Opelika area employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could increase your career options in and around Opelika AL to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technologist Degrees
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 schools. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a large portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Clinical training is often provided in Opelika AL family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training may be attended in the comfort of your Opelika residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online style of learning is much more convenient with their hectic schedules. Plus online schools are frequently more affordable than traditional options. Along with lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be lessened also. But just confirm that the online college you select is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Radiographer Schools
When you have decided on the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of looking for and evaluating x-ray technician colleges near Opelika AL. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining factor also. But along with cost and location, what else should you consider when comparing colleges? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you must ask the colleges you are assessing.
Are the Radiology Tech Colleges Accredited? The majority of radiology technician schools have received some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still imperative to confirm that the school and program are accredited. Among 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 undergone an extensive review of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Opelika AL employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the radiology tech programs you are interested in have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to get practical experience 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 graduates and students develop professional connections in the Opelika AL medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that initial job in Opelika AL in a new profession can be difficult without help. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are interviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the college they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Opelika AL residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide 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 normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Opelika AL colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray technician program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the xray tech college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Opelika AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Radiology Technician Programs Near Me Opelika AL
Picking the right x-ray tech school is an important first step toward initiating a satisfying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the workday and move and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Radiology Technician Programs Near Me and wanting more information on the topic Where to Find Weekend Radiologic Tech Schools. However, as we have covered in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are considering before making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can focus your options before making your decision. And with the appropriate training and your motivation to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Opelika AL.
Other Alabama Diagnostic Locations
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.
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