How to Choose an Xray Tech Degree Program near Colorado Springs Colorado
Congrats regarding your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Colorado Springs CO in order to become a radiologic technologist. And now that you have decided to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, how do you tackle picking the right school and program to ensure that you will get the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And since the majority of states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you subsequently practice you may require preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it’s important that you assess each of the colleges you are looking at so that you can compare each program. Many students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and frequently gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into consideration, there are other critical qualifiers also. For example, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the schools you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let’s explore what a x-ray tech does and the credentials and training choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Job Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the same fundamental job function, 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. Some choose to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for example mammography. They may practice in Colorado Springs CO clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may work with include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must maintain their equipment and regularly assess its functionality and safety. They are also required to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Colorado Springs CO medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Technician Degrees
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the option to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, usually takes 18 months to two years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to complete and is more expansive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are acceptable as well. One thing to bear in mind is that Colorado Springs CO radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can frequently be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which many colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Colorado or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
When you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be working you may need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many offer additional options for testing also. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, numerous Colorado Springs CO employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it might increase your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every 2 years, which may be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Colleges
As a part of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is the same for online degree schools. So although you can still obtain your online degree, a significant portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is typically performed in regional hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your Colorado Springs CO residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree often find that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are frequently more affordable than traditional alternatives. Along with lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be decreased as well. But just make certain that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured type of training, then an online degree may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Programs
After you have chosen the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of locating and evaluating Colorado Springs CO x-ray tech schools. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be critical. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a material factor also. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you consider when comparing schools? Well, you need to check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are considering.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of radiology tech colleges have earned some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Nevertheless, it’s still important to confirm that the program and school 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). Schools earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers and course materials. If the school is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. 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 assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Colorado Springs CO employers will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry level jobs.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the Colorado radiology tech programs you are assessing have associations with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Colorado Springs CO healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in a new field can be challenging without help. Find out if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Colorado Springs CO healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Colorado Springs CO residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Colorado Springs CO schools you are reviewing 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 final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the radiographer program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in Colorado Springs CO, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Become a Radiologic Technologist?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers typically ask radiographer candidates is "What made you select radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being an X-Ray tech, but additionally what attributes and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to radiography, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you should ready some ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the strengths you have that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the ideal choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down several concepts and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Choose the Ideal Radiology Tech College near Colorado Springs CO
Picking the ideal radiology technician college is a crucial first step toward launching a satisfying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs typically stand for the greater part of the day and position and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety requirements developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best available care to patients. As has been addressed in this post, there are a number of questions that you should ask each program you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you decide on an online school or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each program so you can narrow down your options before making your decision. And with the appropriate training and your commitment to be successful, you can realize your goal to practice as a radiographer in Colorado Springs CO.
Some Background on Colorado Springs Colorado
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Colorado Springs is a home rule municipality that is the largest city by area in Colorado as well as the county seat and the most populous municipality of El Paso County, Colorado, United States. Colorado Springs is located in the east central portion of the state. It is situated on Fountain Creek and is located 60 miles (97 km) south of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver.
At 6,035 feet (1,839 m) the city stands over 1 mile (1.6 km) above sea level. This is higher than Denver, though some areas of the city are significantly higher and lower. Colorado Springs is situated near the base of one of the most famous American mountains, Pikes Peak, rising above 14,000 feet (4,300 m) on the eastern edge of the Southern Rocky Mountains. The city is home to 24 national governing bodies of sport, including the United States Olympic Committee, the United States Olympic Training Center, and USA Hockey.
The city had an estimated population of 465,101 in 2016, and a metro population of approximately 712,000,  ranking as the second most populous city in the state of Colorado, behind Denver, and the 40th most populous city in the United States. The Colorado Springs, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area had an estimated population of 712,327 in 2016. The city is included in the Front Range Urban Corridor, an oblong region of urban population along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and Wyoming, generally following the path of Interstate 25 in both states.
The city covers 194.9 square miles (505 km2), making it the most extensive municipality in Colorado.
The Ute, Arapaho and Cheyenne peoples were the first to inhabit the area which would become Colorado Springs. Part of the territory included in the United States' 1803 Louisiana Purchase, the current city area was designated part of the 1854 Kansas Territory. In 1859, after the first local settlement was established, it became part of the Jefferson Territory on October 24 and of El Paso County on November 28. Colorado City at the Front Range confluence of Fountain and Camp creeks was "formally organized on August 13, 1859" during the Pike's Peak Gold Rush. It served as the capital of the Colorado Territory from November 5, 1861, until August 14, 1862, when the capital was moved to Denver.
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