How to Select a Radiology Technician School near Columbia Connecticut
Congratulations on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Columbia CT in order to learn to be a radiologic technician. But now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you go about picking the right college and program so that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And considering that most states do require that radiology techs become licensed, depending on where you ultimately practice you might need preparation to pass a licensing examination. So it’s essential that you assess each of the schools you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. A number of prospective students start by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they compare tuition and usually gravitate toward the most affordable cost. But while location and cost must be taken into consideration, there are additional significant qualifications also. For example, you should find out whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you must ask the colleges you are reviewing are presented later in this article. But first, let’s explore what a x-ray technician does and the credentials and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Tech Occupation Description
There are multiple professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, they all have the same principal job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They can work in Columbia CT clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may 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 performance and safety. They are additionally required to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Columbia CT medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degrees
The primary prerequisite for attending 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 Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, usually requires 18 months to two years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be acceptable as well. Something to bear in mind is that Columbia CT radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It can often be fulfilled by participating in an externship program which a large number of schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Connecticut or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
When you have graduated from an x-ray technician college, based on the state where you will be practicing you may have to become licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several provide additional alternatives for testing as well. Some states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many Columbia CT employers favor hiring radiology techs that have earned certification so it may increase your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every two years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Classes
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree programs. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is often performed in regional hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online portion of the training may be attended in the privacy of your Columbia CT home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree typically discover that the online style of education is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online colleges are frequently more affordable than on-campus options. In addition to lower tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be reduced as well. But just make certain that the online program you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are disciplined enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then an online school may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
Once you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of looking for and evaluating Columbia CT x-ray tech schools. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be relevant. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a determining factor as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you factor in when reviewing schools? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide 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 should ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Schools Accredited? Most radiology tech colleges have acquired some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it’s still important to confirm 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 gone through a rigorous assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the college is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in getting financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Columbia CT employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited school for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the Connecticut xray tech programs you are interested in have relationships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Columbia CT medical community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduating, but getting that first job in a new field can be challenging without support. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Columbia CT healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Columbia CT home. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously 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 school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally 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 Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Columbia CT colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student 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 a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the x-ray technician program as well.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the x-ray tech college you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in Columbia CT, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Why Did You Want to Become an Xray Technician?When prepping to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask radiographer prospects is "What compelled you to choose radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for being an X-Ray tech, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to radiography, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you should ready a number of strategies about how you want to address them. Considering there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying 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 attempt to memorize a response, but write down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Pick the Best Radiology Tech College near Columbia CT
Selecting the best x-ray tech degree program is an important first step toward beginning a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the day and move and sometimes lift the patient to obtain the correct image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and provide the best available patient care. As has been covered in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are looking at before making your final selection. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online school or drive to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can narrow down your options and make your final choice. And with the right education and your commitment to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiology tech in Columbia CT.
Some Background on Columbia Connecticut
Hartford is the capital of the U.S. state of Connecticut. It was the seat of Hartford County until Connecticut disbanded county government in 1960. As of the 2010 Census, Hartford's population was 124,775, making it Connecticut's third-largest city after the coastal cities of Bridgeport and New Haven. Census Bureau estimates since then have indicated Hartford's fall to fourth place statewide, as a result of sustained population growth in the coastal city of Stamford.
Hartford is nicknamed the "Insurance Capital of the World", as it hosts many insurance company headquarters and insurance is the region's major industry. The city was founded in 1635 and is among the oldest cities in the United States. It is home to the nation's oldest public art museum (Wadsworth Atheneum), the oldest publicly funded park (Bushnell Park), the oldest continuously published newspaper (The Hartford Courant), and the second-oldest secondary school (Hartford Public High School). It also is home to Trinity College, a private liberal arts college, and the Mark Twain House where the author wrote his most famous works and raised his family, among other historically significant attractions. Twain wrote in 1868, "Of all the beautiful towns it has been my fortune to see this is the chief."
Following the American Civil War, Hartford was the richest city in the United States for several decades. Today, Hartford is one of the poorest cities in the nation, with 3 out of every 10 families living below the poverty line. In sharp contrast, the Hartford metropolitan area is ranked 32nd of 318 metropolitan areas in total economic production and 7th out of 280 metropolitan statistical areas in per capita income. Highlighting the socio-economic disparity between Hartford and its suburbs, 83% of Hartford's jobs are filled by commuters from neighboring towns who earn over $80,000, while 75% of Hartford residents who commute to work in other towns earn just $40,000.
Various tribes lived in or around present-day Hartford, all part of the loose Algonquin confederation. The area was referred to as Suckiaug, meaning "Black Fertile River-Enhanced Earth, good for planting." These included the Podunks, mostly east of the Connecticut River; the Poquonocks north and west of Hartford; the Massacoes in the Simsbury area; the Tunxis tribe in West Hartford and Farmington; the Wangunks to the south; and the Saukiog in Hartford itself.
The first Europeans known to have explored the area were the Dutch under Adriaen Block, who sailed up the Connecticut in 1614. Dutch fur traders from New Amsterdam returned in 1623 with a mission to establish a trading post and fortify the area for the Dutch West India Company. The original site was located on the south bank of the Park River in the present-day Sheldon/Charter Oak neighborhood. This fort was called Fort Hoop or the "House of Hope." In 1633, Jacob Van Curler formally bought the land around Fort Hoop from the Pequot chief for a small sum. It was home to perhaps a couple families and a few dozen soldiers. The fort was abandoned by 1654, but the area is known today as Dutch Point; the name of the Dutch fort "House of Hope" is reflected in the name of Huyshope Avenue.
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