How to Select a Radiology Technician Degree Program near Pagosa Springs Colorado
Congrats regarding your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Pagosa Springs CO in order to learn to be a radiology technologist. But now that you have chosen to enter the rewarding field of healthcare, exactly how do you set about picking the ideal school and program so that you will receive the proper training to become a qualified practitioner? And since most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may require training 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. A number of prospective students start by looking for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and frequently settle on the most affordable cost. But while location and cost must be taken into account, there are additional significant qualifications also. For example, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. 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 x-ray tech does and the credentials and education options that are offered.
Radiology Tech Work Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiology technicians or radiographers. No matter what the name, each has the identical primary job description, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They may practice in Pagosa Springs CO hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray tech 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 also frequently assess its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep in-depth records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Pagosa Springs CO health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Tech Degrees
The standard prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech college is to have received 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 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 complete and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to consider is that Pagosa Springs CO radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It can often be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in their area. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any licensing or certification mandates in Colorado or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Certification and Licensing
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, depending on the state where you will be practicing you might have to be licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so check with your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but a number provide additional options for testing as well. A number of states also call for certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, numerous Pagosa Springs CO employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it could improve your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technician Colleges
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 the same for online degree programs. So while you can still obtain your online degree, a considerable amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is typically carried out in regional family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your Pagosa Springs CO residence. Students who keep working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online style of education is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online programs are often less costly than on-campus options. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be decreased also. But just make sure that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then an online degree may be the best option for you.
What to Ask Radiologic Tech Programs
As soon as you have chosen the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can start the process of looking for and assessing Pagosa Springs CO x-ray technician colleges. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a material variable also. But along with location and cost, what more should you look at when reviewing schools? Well, you need to find out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you must ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of xray technician schools have received some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it’s still important to confirm that the program and school 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). Programs receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone an extensive review of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in obtaining financial aid and student loans, which are many times not accessible for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And many Pagosa Springs CO employers will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the Colorado radiology technician colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with local hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Pagosa Springs CO medical community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely want to secure employment quickly after graduating, but finding that initial job in a new profession can be challenging without support. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and good relationships with Pagosa Springs CO healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Pagosa Springs CO home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble 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 choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Pagosa Springs CO schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray technician program also.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the x-ray tech school you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in Pagosa Springs CO, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Radiology Technician?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask radiographer prospects is "What made you decide on radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming an X-Ray tech, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to radiography, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to ready some strategies about how you want to answer them. Since there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the leading candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Pick the Best X-Ray Tech School near Pagosa Springs CO
Picking the ideal radiology tech degree program is a critical first step toward initiating a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the greater part of the day and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing social skills is a must in order to have a productive work environment and provide the best available care to patients. As we have discussed in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you participate in an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can examine and compare each college so you can focus your options and make your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiographer in Pagosa Springs CO.
Some Background on Pagosa Springs Colorado
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Pagosa Springs is a municipality that is the county seat of, and the only incorporated municipality in, Archuleta County, Colorado, United States. The population was 1,727 at the 2010 census. Approximately 65 percent of the land in Archuleta County is either San Juan National Forest, Weminuche and South San Juan Wilderness areas, or Southern Ute Indian land.
Pagosa Springs and the surrounding county are both experiencing a substantial influx of second-home owners; a 2006 property assessment indicates that 60% of area private properties are owned by non-residents.
Pagosa Springs is located approximately 35 miles (56 km) north of the New Mexico border, nestled at 7,000 feet (2,100 m) on the Western Slope of the Continental Divide. This combination of high desert plateau and dramatic Rocky Mountains to the north and east creates an unusually mild climate, especially in the summer months, when compared with much of the surrounding Southwest. Pagosa is favored with around 300 days of sun each year, as well as four distinct seasons.
The town is located in the upper San Juan Basin, surrounded by the 3 million acre (12,000 km²) San Juan National Forest, and adjacent to the largest wilderness area in the state of Colorado, the Weminuche Wilderness.
The town is named for the sulfur springs located there, including the world's deepest geothermal hot spring. This "Mother Spring" feeds the pools hosted by three local hot spring soaking locations within town. The largest is at The Springs Resort & Spa which hosts the mother spring. Other hot springs facilities in town are the Healing Waters Resort and Spa and the Overlook Hot Springs Spa. The mineral-rich water continues to be celebrated for its therapeutic powers. The Utes called the sulfur-rich mineral springs Pah gosah, which is commonly translated in modern documents as "healing waters"; a Ute elder once translated the phrase as "water (pah) that has a bad smell (gosah)." 
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