Radiology X-Ray Technician Schools in Colorado

How to Choose a Radiologic Tech School in Colorado

Colorado x-ray tech internship programCongrats regarding your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school in Colorado in order to train to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have chosen to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, how do you set about choosing the right college and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And since most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you might require training to pass a licensing exam. So it’s imperative that you assess each of the schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Most prospective students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into account, there are other significant qualifiers also. For example, you must find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the colleges you are examining are provided later in this post. But first, let’s discuss what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.

Radiology Tech Job Description

There are a number of professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the same principal job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Many elect to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for instance mammography. They can practice in Colorado clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might work with include:

  • Traditional and specialized X-Rays
  • Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Sonography or ultrasound
  • Fluoroscopy

Radiographers have to take care of their equipment and also regularly evaluate its performance and safety. They are also expected to retain detailed records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Colorado medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.

X-Ray Tech Degrees Available

x-ray machine in ColoradoThe primary requirement for enrolling in an x-ray tech school is to have received a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish and is more comprehensive in scope. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that Colorado radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can often be satisfied by taking part in an externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local hospitals and clinics in their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Colorado or the state you will be working as applicable.

Radiographer Certification and Licensing

When you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you may have to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but many provide other options for testing as well. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous Colorado employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options to become certified. 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 met with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.

Online Radiology Technician Schools

attending x-ray tech school online in ColoradoAs a component of any degree program, Colorado x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So while you can still earn your degree online, a large amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is usually carried out in area family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your Colorado home. Students who continue working while earning their degree usually discover that the online approach to education is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are generally more affordable than conventional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials may be decreased as well. But just make certain that the online college you enroll in is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the best choice for you.

Questions to Ask Radiologic Tech Colleges

When you have selected the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of finding and assessing Colorado x-ray technician schools. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a determining factor as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you factor in when comparing colleges? Well, you should find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these important details before you make your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are looking at.

Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? The majority of radiology technician colleges have obtained some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it’s still crucial to make sure that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a quality education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Colorado employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level jobs.

Are Internships Offered? Ask if the Colorado xray tech schools you are interested in have relationships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a means to satisfy the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Colorado healthcare community and assist with job placement.

Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduation, but getting that initial job in a new field can be difficult without assistance. Ask if the radiographer schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Colorado healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Colorado residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes naturally 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 choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Colorado colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the x-ray tech program as well.

Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the x-ray tech  program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in Colorado, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Best X-Ray Technician College in Colorado

Enrolling in the appropriate radiology technician school is a critical first step toward beginning a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs typically stand for the greater part of the working day and position and sometimes lift the patient to get the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to adhere to the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray technicians 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 deliver the best possible care to patients. As has been discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. This is just as true whether you participate in an online school or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can narrow down your options and make your final choice. And with the proper training and your dedication to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a x-ray tech in Colorado.

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