How to Choose a Radiologic Tech Degree Program near Grand Junction Colorado
Congratulations regarding your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Grand Junction CO so you can learn to be a radiology technician. But now that you have decided to go into the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you set about choosing the ideal school and program so that you will get the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And because most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, depending on where you ultimately work you might need preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s essential that you research each of the colleges you are looking at so that you can compare each program. A number of potential students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location should be considered, there are other significant qualifiers also. For instance, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the colleges you are examining are presented later in this article. But first, let’s discuss what a radiologic tech does and the degrees and education choices that are offered.
X-Ray Tech Career Description
There are multiple professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, they all have the identical fundamental job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many choose to work as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They can practice in Grand Junction CO hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or “CAT” scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers have to maintain their equipment and frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to retain in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Grand Junction CO health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among techs, 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 finish and is more extensive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate as well. One thing to keep in mind is that Grand Junction CO radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can frequently be fulfilled by participating in an externship program which many schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing mandates in Colorado or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, depending on the state where you will be employed you may need to become licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so check with your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number approve other alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, many Grand Junction CO employers will only hire radiology techs that are certified so it might improve 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 examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Degrees
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So even though you can still earn your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is often performed in area family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training may be accessed in the privacy of your Grand Junction CO home. Students who keep working while earning their degree often discover that the online approach to education is much more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are generally more affordable than conventional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, costs for study materials and commuting may be reduced also. But just make certain that the online program you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online degree may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
As soon as you have chosen the kind of degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of searching for and assessing Grand Junction CO x-ray tech colleges. You will also need to determine if you prefer to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a determining variable as well. But in addition to location and cost, what more should you consider when evaluating colleges? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Programs Accredited? A large number of radiology tech colleges have received some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it’s still important 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). Programs obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a rigorous review of their instructors and educational materials. If the school is online it can also obtain 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. Besides guaranteeing a premium education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Grand Junction CO health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the Colorado xray tech programs you are interested in have associations with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Grand Junction CO health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help available? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the x-ray tech programs 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 substantial networks and good relationships with Grand Junction CO healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Grand Junction CO home. Those 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 keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even 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 typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student 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 permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Grand Junction CO colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the radiology tech program also.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the radiographer college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in Grand Junction CO, 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 credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Choose to Become an X-Ray Tech?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask radiographer applicants is "What drove you to choose radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a radiology technician, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to radiography, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare a number of strategies about how you want to address them. Because there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the leading choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Enroll in the Best X-Ray Tech School near Grand Junction CO
Selecting the best radiology tech college is an important first step toward launching a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical shape. Radiology techs often stand for the greater part of the workday and position and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines developed 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 interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As we have discussed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are looking at before making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online program or travel to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each college so you can focus your choices and make your final choice. And with the right education and your dedication to succeed, you can accomplish your goal to work as a radiology tech in Grand Junction CO.
Some Background on Grand Junction Colorado
Grand Junction, Colorado
The city of Grand Junction is the home rule municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Mesa County, Colorado, United States. The city has a council–manager form of government, and is the most populous municipality in all of western Colorado. Grand Junction is situated 247 miles (398 km) west-southwest of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 58,566. Grand Junction is the 15th most populous city in the state of Colorado and the most populous city on the Colorado Western Slope. Grand Junction serves as a major commercial and transportation hub within the large area between the Green River and the Continental Divide. It is the principal city of the Grand Junction Metropolitan Statistical Area which had a population of 146,723 in 2010 census.
The city is located along the Colorado River, at its confluence with the Gunnison River which comes in from the south. The name "Grand" refers to the historical Grand River; it was renamed as the Upper Colorado River in 1921. The word "Junction" refers to the confluence of the Colorado and Gunnison rivers. Grand Junction has been nicknamed "River City". The city is located near the midpoint of a 30-mile (48 km) arcing valley, known as the Grand Valley; since the late 19th century it has been a major fruit-growing region. Historically the valley was long occupied by the Ute people and by earlier indigenous cultures. It was not settled by white European-American farmers until the 1880s. Since the late 20th century, several wineries have been established in the area.
The Colorado National Monument, a unique series of canyons and mesas, overlooks the city on the west. Most of the area is surrounded by federal public lands managed by the US Bureau of Land Management. The Book Cliffs are a prominent series of cliffs that define the northern side of the Grand Valley. Interstate 70 connects the city eastward to Glenwood Springs and Denver and westward to Green River, Utah; Salt Lake City is reached to the west via Interstate 70 and U.S Route 6; and Las Vegas (via Interstate 70 and Interstate 15).
The Country Jam Ranch is located near Grand Junction just north of I-70 at the Mack exit. This is a permanent festival site built for music festivals, including Country Jam. This event has been held annually since 1992, drawing thousands of country music fans to the area.
The Grand Junction area has developed as a major mountain biking destination, with many bikers coming from the Front Range of Colorado, the Salt Lake City area, and as far away as California to enjoy the area's abundant single-track trails. Two prominent trails are the Tabeguache and Kokopelli trails, the latter running from near Loma to Moab, Utah. Fruita, Colorado, with its 18-Road trail system, is within 10 miles of the city and has become a major mountain biking destination.
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