How to Select a Radiologic Technician Program near New Hartford Connecticut
Congrats on your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near New Hartford CT so you can train to be a radiologic technician. And now that you have made a decision to enter the satisfying field of healthcare, exactly how do you tackle picking the ideal school and program so that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And considering that the majority of states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you may require training to pass a licensing test. So it’s important that you investigate each of the schools you are looking at so that you can compare each program. A number of potential students start by looking for technical schools or colleges that are within driving distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and often settle on the most affordable cost. But while cost and location must be considered, there are other critical qualifications as well. For instance, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These inquiries and others you should ask the schools you are evaluating are presented later in this article. But first, let’s talk about what a radiology technician does and the credentials and training options that are offered.
Radiology Technician Occupation Description
There are a number of professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They may also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, each has the same primary job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Many opt to practice as generalists, while others may choose a specialization, for instance mammography. They may practice in New Hartford CT hospitals, clinics, family practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might 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 analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As New Hartford CT health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
Radiology Technician Degrees
The basic prerequisite for attending an x-ray tech college is to have received 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 common among techs, usually takes 18 months to 2 years to complete based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more extensive in scope. The majority of students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that may be acceptable also. One thing to bear in mind is that New Hartford CT radiographer schools have a clinical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may typically be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of schools sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their region. Once you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Connecticut or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-ray Technician Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an X-Ray tech college, based on the state where you will be practicing you may have to become licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so contact your state. At present, all states that do mandate licensing will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the licensing application, but many approve additional options for testing also. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. Having said that, many New Hartford CT employers favor hiring radiology techs that are certified so it might enhance your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous examination. ARRT also requires re-certification every 2 years, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Technologist Programs
As a component of any degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is no different for online degree schools. So although you can still obtain your degree online, a considerable amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an externship off campus. Clinical training is typically provided in area family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online portion of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your New Hartford CT residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online style of learning is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are frequently cheaper than traditional alternatives. In addition to lower tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be decreased as well. But just be sure that the online program you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
As soon as you have decided on the type of degree that you want to earn, you can initiate the process of locating and evaluating New Hartford CT x-ray technician schools. You will also need to decide if you want to attend online classes or travel to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and secondary expenses will be a material factor as well. But in addition to cost and location, what else should you factor in when comparing schools? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you learn some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the X-Ray Technician Colleges Accredited? A large number of radiology technician schools have earned some form of accreditation, whether national or regional. Even so, it’s still imperative to verify that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded 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 earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Besides ensuring a quality education, accreditation will also help in getting financial assistance and student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation might also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And numerous New Hartford CT health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited school for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the Connecticut xray technician programs you are assessing have associations with regional clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a means to satisfy the practical training requirement for the majority of programs. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the New Hartford CT healthcare community and help with job placement.
Is Job Placement Assistance available? You will most likely wish to secure employment quickly after graduation, but finding that initial job in a new profession can be challenging without help. Find out if the x-ray tech schools you are considering have job placement programs and what their placement rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have large networks and good relationships with New Hartford CT healthcare employers. It also confirms that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the college they choose will have to be within driving distance of their New Hartford CT residence. Those who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose 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 usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the New Hartford CT schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the radiology technician program also.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the radiographer college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in New Hartford CT, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Why Did You Want to Become an X-Ray Tech?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's a good idea to consider questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask radiographer applicants is "What made you select radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a radiology technician, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to radiography, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to ready a number of approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Enroll in the Best X-Ray Technician School near New Hartford CT
Choosing the best x-ray tech college is a crucial first step toward launching a fulfilling new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs typically stand for the greater part of the day and position and in some cases lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Candidates must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety requirements designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and deliver the best possible patient care. As we have covered in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each program you are assessing prior to making your final selection. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online program or commute to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can narrow down your choices and make your final choice. And with the proper training and your commitment to succeed, you can achieve your goal to work as a radiographer in New Hartford CT.
Some Background on New Hartford 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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