How to Find a Radiology Tech Degree Program near Littleton Colorado
Congrats on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Littleton CO so you can learn to be a radiology technician. And now that you have decided to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you go about selecting the ideal college and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And since most states do require that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you might require preparation to pass a licensing exam. So it’s important that you research each of the schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Most students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and typically gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while expense and location should be considered, there are other important qualifiers as well. For instance, you must ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the schools you are examining are presented later in this post. But first, let’s explore what a radiology tech does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Occupation Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be called radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. Irrespective of the name, they all have the same principal job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some opt to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They may practice in Littleton CO clinics, hospitals, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech might work with 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 plus regularly assess its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Littleton CO medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degree Options
The standard requirement for attending an x-ray tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most typical among technicians, normally requires 18 months to two years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at as much as 4 years to finish and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are appropriate as well. Something to keep in mind is that Littleton CO radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It may typically be satisfied by taking part in an externship program which many schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their area. Once you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Colorado or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be employed you may need to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their criteria differ so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many provide other options for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, numerous Littleton CO employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it may improve your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technician Degrees
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree programs. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a significant portion of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is typically performed in regional family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your Littleton CO residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically find that the online approach to learning is much more practical with their hectic schedules. Plus online programs are frequently more affordable than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenditures for study materials and commuting can be reduced also. But just be sure that the online school you select 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 school may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask X Ray Tech Schools
Once you have decided on the type of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of looking for and assessing Littleton CO x-ray tech colleges. You will also need to decide if you want to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a determining factor also. But along with location and cost, what more should you factor in when reviewing schools? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details before you make your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are reviewing.
Are the Radiology Technician Schools Accredited? Most xray technician schools have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still imperative to make sure 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed examination of their teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in obtaining financial assistance and student loans, which are often not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Littleton CO employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the Colorado xray technician colleges you are reviewing have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a way to fulfill the clinical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Littleton CO health care community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that first job in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the radiographer schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have large networks and good relationships with Littleton CO healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the school they select will have to be within driving distance of their Littleton CO residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide 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 normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Littleton CO colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the x-ray tech program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the x-ray tech school you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in Littleton CO, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Desire to Become an Xray Technician?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask radiographer applicants is "What made you decide on radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the private reasons you may have for being an Xray technician, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to radiography, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready several strategies about how you want to respond to them. Because there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the best choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Enroll in the Right Radiology Technician College near Littleton CO
Enrolling in the right radiology tech degree program is a crucial first step toward launching a fulfilling new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist should be in good physical condition. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the majority of the day and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Prospects must also demonstrate an ability to pay strict attention to detail and to adhere to the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As we have covered in this report, there are a number of questions that you should ask each college you are assessing prior to making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online program or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can assess and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the proper education and your commitment to be successful, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Littleton CO.
Some Background on Littleton Colorado
Littleton is the Home Rule Municipality in Arapahoe, Douglas, and Jefferson counties that is the county seat of Arapahoe County, Colorado, United States. The city is a part of the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city population was 41,737 at the 2010 United States Census, ranking as the 20th most populous municipality in the State of Colorado.
The city of Littleton's history dates back to the 1859 Pike's Peak Gold Rush, which brought not only gold seekers, but merchants and farmers to the community. Richard Sullivan Little was an engineer from New Hampshire who made his way out West to work on irrigation systems. Little soon decided to settle in the area at present day Littleton and brought his wife Angeline out from the East in 1862. The Littles, along with many neighbors, built the Rough and Ready Flour Mill in 1867, which provided a solid economic base in the community. By 1890, the community had grown to 245 people and the residents voted to incorporate the Town of Littleton.
Littleton became widely known in 1999 when the Columbine High School massacre occurred at Columbine High School. News media reported that the incident happened in the city, because the school’s ZIP code is primarily associated with Littleton. The school is actually located in adjacent Columbine, an unincorporated community, which is not a place name accepted by the U.S. Postal Service; by default, locations in ZIP code 80123 use “Littleton” in their mailing addresses. Columbine High School is in the Jefferson County school system and is not one of the Littleton Public Schools.
Littleton is located at 39°35′59″N 105°0′39″W / 39.59972°N 105.01083°W / 39.59972; -105.01083 (39.599691, −105.010929) at an elevation of 5,351 feet (1,631 m). Located in central Colorado at the junction of U.S. Route 85 and Colorado State Highway 470, the city is 9 miles (14 km) south of downtown Denver and 55 miles (89 km) north of Colorado Springs.
Littleton lies on the South Platte River in the Colorado Piedmont region of the Great Plains a few miles east of the Front Range of the Southern Rocky Mountains. Most of the city lies on the east side of the river. Several small tributaries of the river flow northwest through the city; from north to south, these include Big Dry Creek, Slaughterhouse Gulch, Lee Gulch, and Dad Clark Gulch. In addition, there are several small lakes and reservoirs located along the river in the southwestern part of the city. Immediately west of the river are Cooley Lake, Bufflehead Lake, South Platte Reservoir, Eaglewatch Lake, Redtail Lake, and Blackrock Lake. East of the river lie Wolhurst Lake and McLellen Reservoir which is fed and drained by Dad Clark Gulch. Chatfield Reservoir lies immediately southwest of the city.
More Cities of Interest in Colorado