How to Select an X-Ray Tech College near Fairfield Connecticut
Congratulations regarding your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Fairfield CT so you can train to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have made a decision to go into the rewarding field of healthcare, just how do you set about picking the right college and program to ensure that you will obtain the proper training to become a skilled practitioner? And since the majority of states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you might require training to pass a licensing exam. So it’s essential that you investigate each of the schools you are looking at in order to evaluate each program. A number of students begin by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within driving distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the lowest cost. But while expense and location must be considered, there are additional important qualifiers also. For instance, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you must ask the colleges you are evaluating are provided later in this post. But first, let’s explore what a radiologic technician does and the credentials and training choices that are available.
X-Ray Tech Career Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the identical principal job description, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many elect to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, for instance mammography. They can practice in Fairfield 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 care for their equipment and routinely evaluate its performance and safety. They are also expected to keep complete records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Fairfield CT medical practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Technician Degrees Available
The basic prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist students have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at as much as four years to finish and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are appropriate also. Something to keep in mind is that Fairfield CT radiographer colleges have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their course of study. It can frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local hospitals and clinics in their area. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you will need to comply with any certification or licensing mandates in Connecticut or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an x-ray technician program, based on the state where you will be practicing you might have to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensure will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but several accept other alternatives for testing as well. Some states also call for certification as a component of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many Fairfield CT employers will only hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might enhance your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their comprehensive exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every two years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Colleges
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree schools. So even though you can still obtain your online degree, a considerable portion of the training will be satisfied either in a college lab or in an internship off-campus. Practical training is often carried out in regional hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online section of the training can be attended in the privacy of your Fairfield CT home. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually find that the online approach to education is far more practical with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are generally cheaper than conventional options. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be lessened also. But just make sure that the online school you select 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 best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Radiology Tech Colleges
As soon as you have selected the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of locating and assessing Fairfield CT x-ray technician colleges. You will also have to determine if you prefer to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be critical. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a material factor as well. But along with location and cost, what more should you look at when comparing colleges? Well, you should check out if the colleges are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details prior to making your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of radiology technician schools have obtained some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still imperative 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 teachers and educational materials. If the program is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets distance or online learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are many times not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Fairfield CT health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level positions.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the Connecticut radiology tech schools you are reviewing have associations with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Fairfield CT healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance provided? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are assessing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. High and rapid placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Fairfield CT healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Fairfield CT residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Fairfield CT colleges you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the x-ray technician program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the radiographer program you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in Fairfield CT, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Radiology Technician?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask radiographer candidates is "What drove you to choose radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming an X-Ray tech, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to radiography, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must ready some strategies about how you would like to address them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Pick the Right X-Ray Technician Program near Fairfield CT
Picking the ideal radiology technician degree program is a crucial first step toward initiating a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs frequently stand for the majority of the workday and position and sometimes lift the patient to get 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 patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians 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 good work environment and deliver the best possible care to patients. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of questions that you need to ask each school you are considering before making your final decision. This is similarly true whether you decide on an online school or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can narrow down your options and make your decision. And with the proper training and your motivation to succeed, you can reach your goal to work as a radiologic technologist in Fairfield CT.
Some Background on Fairfield Connecticut
Fairfield is a town located in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. It borders the towns of Bridgeport, Trumbull, Easton, Weston, and Westport along the Gold Coast of Connecticut. As of the 2010 census, the town had a population of 59,404. In July 2006, Money magazine ranked Fairfield the ninth-best place to live in the United States, and the best place to live in the Northeast.
In 1635, Puritans and Congregationalists in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, were dissatisfied with the rate of Anglican reform, and sought to establish an ecclesiastical society subject to their own rules and regulations. The Massachusetts General Court granted them permission to settle in the towns of Windsor, Wethersfield, and Hartford which is an area now known as Connecticut.
On January 14, 1639, a set of legal and administrative regulations called the Fundamental Orders was adopted, and established Connecticut as a self-ruling entity. By 1639 these settlers had started new towns in the surrounding areas. Roger Ludlowe, framer of the Fundamental Orders, purchased the land presently called Fairfield, and established the name.
According to historian John M. Taylor: "Early in 1639 the General Court granted a commission to Ludlow to begin a plantation at Pequannocke. He was on that errand, with a few others from Windsor, afterwards joined by immigrants from Watertown and Concord. He bought a large tract of land from the Pequannocke sachems, - afterwards greatly enlarged by other purchases to the westward,- and recalling the attractive region beyond (Uncoa), which he had personally seen on the second Pequot expedition, he also “set down” there, having purchased the territory embraced in the present town of Fairfield, to which he gave its name."
Fairfield was one of the two principal settlements of the Connecticut Colony in southeastern Connecticut (the other was Stratford). The town line with Stratford was set in May 1661 by John Banks, an early Fairfield settler, Richard Olmstead, and Lt. Joseph Judson, who were both appointed as a committee by the Colony of Connecticut. The town line with Norwalk was not set until May 1685.
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