How to Choose an Xray Technician College near Hamden Connecticut
Best wishes on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Hamden CT so you can become a radiologic technologist. And now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, just how do you undertake choosing the ideal school and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified professional? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that x-ray technicians become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you might require preparation to pass a licensing test. So it’s important that you assess each of the colleges you are looking at so that you can evaluate each program. Most potential students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and typically settle on the most affordable cost. But while expense and location need to be taken into account, there are other important qualifiers as well. For example, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internships. These inquiries and others you should ask the colleges you are considering are provided later in this post. But first, let’s explore what a radiologic technician does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Technician Job Summary
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Irrespective of the name, each has the same principal job description, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists may also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, for example mammography. They can work in Hamden CT hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist 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 maintain their equipment plus frequently analyze its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to keep in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Hamden CT health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degree Options
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in an x-ray tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the opportunity to earn either an Associate or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most common among technicians, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to four years to finish and is more expansive in scope. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional related majors that are acceptable as well. One thing to keep in mind is that Hamden CT radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as part of their course of study. It may frequently be satisfied by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification mandates in Connecticut or the state you will be working as applicable.
Radiologic Technologist Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, depending on the state where you will be working you may have to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their requirements vary so contact your state. Presently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several approve other alternatives for testing as well. Several states also call for certification as part of the licensing process, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many Hamden CT employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it could enhance your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an approved program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also requires re-certification every other year, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Colleges
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree colleges. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a substantial amount of the training will be completed either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Clinical training is usually conducted in area family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the schools. However the online segment of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your Hamden CT home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online approach to learning is far more convenient with their active schedules. Plus online schools are frequently cheaper than traditional options. In addition to reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting can be lessened as well. But just be sure that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
As soon as you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of looking for and evaluating Hamden CT x-ray tech schools. You will also need to determine if you want to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. If you choose the latter, then naturally the location of the school will be critical. The price of tuition and supplementary expenditures will be a material variable as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you look at when evaluating schools? Well, you need to find out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these crucial details before you make your decision, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the colleges you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of xray technician colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still important to make sure that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly respected accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools obtaining accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through an extensive assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the program is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting organizations should be acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a premium education, accreditation will also help in getting financial aid and student loans, which are many times not available for non-accredited schools. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous Hamden CT health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry level jobs.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the Connecticut xray technician programs you are reviewing have associations with area hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a way to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Hamden CT health care community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will undoubtedly wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that first job in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Ask if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have substantial networks and great relationships with Hamden CT healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their students are highly regarded and sought after.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Hamden CT residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Hamden CT schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the x-ray tech program as well.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the x-ray tech college you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in Hamden CT, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Radiologic Technologist?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask radiographer prospects is "What compelled you to choose radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the personal reasons you might have for being an X-Ray tech, but additionally what characteristics and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to radiography, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you should ready several approaches about how you want to address them. Because there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Enroll in the Ideal X-Ray Tech College near Hamden CT
Picking the best radiology tech school is an important first step toward beginning a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs often stand for the majority of the workday and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate an ability to pay close attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines developed to protect both the medical team and the patient. X-Ray techs work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Possessing interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As we have addressed in this post, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can analyze and compare each program so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the appropriate education and your commitment to succeed, you can realize your goal to work as a x-ray tech in Hamden CT.
Some Background on Hamden Connecticut
Hamden is a town in New Haven County, Connecticut, United States. The town's nickname is "The Land of the Sleeping Giant." The population was 60,960 at the 2010 census. Hamden is a suburb of the city of New Haven.
The town of Hamden ranked #53 in the CNN Money list of "America's best small cities" in 2012. In 2008, Fortune Magazine and CNN Money picked Hamden as #33 on their "Best Place to Live and Launch" list, citing Hamden's great blend of urban and suburban lifestyles. The article also pointed out Hamden's exceptional education system as well as its "New England Charm".
Originally settled by Puritans as part of the town of New Haven, Hamden was purchased by William Christopher Reilly and the Reverend John Davenport in 1638 from the local Quinnipiack Native American tribe. It remained a part of New Haven until 1786 when 1,400 local residents incorporated the area as a separate town, naming it after the English statesman John Hampden.
Largely developed as a nodal collection of village-like settlements (which remain distinct today), including Mount Carmel (home to Quinnipiac University), Whitneyville, Spring Glen, West Woods, and Highwood, Hamden has a long-standing industrial history. In 1798, four years after Eli Whitney began manufacturing the cotton gin in New Haven, he made arms for the U.S. government at a mill site in Hamden, where a waterfall provided a good source of power. At that site, Whitney introduced the modern era of mass production with the concept of interchangeable parts.
The major thoroughfare through Hamden is named Whitney Avenue in honor of Eli Whitney, and it runs past Whitney's old factory, now the Eli Whitney Museum.
More Cities of Interest in Connecticut