How to Select a Radiologic Tech College near Norwalk Connecticut
Congratulations on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Norwalk CT so you can learn to be a radiology technician. But now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, exactly how do you go about picking the right school and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled practitioner? And since most states do require that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you might require training to pass a licensing examination. So it’s essential that you investigate each of the schools you are considering so that you can evaluate each program. Most students begin by searching for technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their residences. Next, they check tuition and usually settle on the lowest cost. But while location and cost need to be taken into account, there are additional critical qualifiers also. For instance, you need to ask if the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they offer internships. These inquiries and others you must ask the schools you are evaluating are presented later in this post. But first, let’s explore what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and education choices that are available.
X-Ray Technician Career Summary
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They can also be referred to as radiologic technicians or technologists, radiographers or radiology techs. No matter what the name, they all have the identical fundamental job function, which is to use imaging machines to internally view patients for the objective of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists may also provide radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to perform as generalists, while others may choose a specialty, such as mammography. They may practice in Norwalk CT hospitals, clinics, 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 must take care of their equipment and also routinely evaluate its performance and safety. They are additionally expected to keep detailed records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As Norwalk CT medical practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Available
The primary requirement for attending a radiology tech school is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. 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 techs, usually takes 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the program and course load. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more expansive in nature. Most students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are other related majors that are acceptable as well. Something to bear in mind is that Norwalk CT radiographer colleges have a practical training or lab component as a component of their curriculum. It may often be satisfied by taking part in an externship program which a large number of schools offer through local hospitals and clinics in their region. After you have graduated from any of the degree programs, you must comply with any certification or licensing requirements in Connecticut or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Certification and Licensing
Once you have graduated from an x-ray technician school, depending on the state where you will be employed you might need to be licensed. Most states do require licensing, and their requirements differ so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do require licensure will accept The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the licensing application, but a number provide additional options for testing also. Several states also call for certification as a component of the licensing procedure, if not it is voluntary. However, many Norwalk CT employers would rather hire radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program calls for graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their comprehensive examination. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which can be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online X-Ray Tech Classes
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have clinical or lab training included in their course of study. This is no different for online degree colleges. So while 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. Clinical training is usually performed in local family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. But the online portion of the training can be attended in the comfort of your Norwalk CT home. Students who keep working while earning their degree typically discover that the online approach to education is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are generally cheaper than conventional options. In addition to reduced tuition, costs for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. But just confirm that the online school you choose 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 online classes may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Radiographer Colleges
When you have chosen the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of finding and evaluating Norwalk CT x-ray technician schools. You will also have to decide if you want to attend online classes or drive to a nearby campus. If you choose the latter, then obviously the location of the school will be important. The cost of tuition and ancillary expenses will be a determining factor as well. But along with location and cost, what else should you look at when comparing schools? Well, you should ask if the colleges are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you find out some of these crucial details prior to making your selection, we have assembled a list of questions that you should ask the colleges you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Technician Colleges Accredited? The majority of radiology technician colleges have received some form of accreditation, whether regional or national. Even so, it’s still imperative to make sure 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 gone through a rigorous assessment of their instructors and course materials. If the school is online it might also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial aid and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited colleges. Accreditation can also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And many Norwalk CT health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited college for entry-level jobs.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the Connecticut radiology tech colleges you are evaluating have associations with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Norwalk CT healthcare community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will most likely want to hit the ground running after graduating, but getting that first job in a new field can be challenging without help. Ask if the x-ray tech schools you are interviewing have job placement 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 Norwalk CT healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their students 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 commuting distance of their Norwalk CT residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have 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 don’t reside within their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Norwalk CT schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the radiology technician program as well.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the x-ray tech college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in Norwalk CT, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify 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 may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Radiologic Technologist?When prepping to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's important to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters typically ask radiographer candidates is "What made you decide on radiography as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being an X-Ray tech, but additionally what qualities and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to radiography, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should ready several ideas about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an exceptional X-Ray tech and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Enroll in the Right Radiology Technician Program near Norwalk CT
Selecting the right radiology technician college is a crucial first step toward initiating a gratifying new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer must be in good physical condition. Radiology techs frequently stand for the majority of the workday and position and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay close attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having interpersonal skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As we have covered in this post, there are several questions that you should ask each college you are assessing before making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you opt for an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the right questions you can assess and compare each college so you can narrow down your choices and make your decision. And with the right training and your motivation to succeed, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Norwalk CT.
Some Background on Norwalk Connecticut
Norwalk (/ˈnɔːrˌwɔːk/ NOR-wawk), is a U.S city located in southwestern Connecticut, in southern Fairfield County, on the northern shore of Long Island Sound. Norwalk is included statistically within both the New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA Combined Statistical Area as well as the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Norwalk was settled in 1649, and is now the sixth most populous city in Connecticut. According to the 2010 United States Census the city had a population of 85,603; with an estimated population of 88,438 in 2016.
Norwalk was settled in 1649, incorporated September 1651, and named after the Algonquin word noyank, meaning "point of land", or more probably from the native American name "Naramauke."
The city boundaries originally included parts of the current municipalities of New Canaan, Wilton, and Westport. Ancient records describe the boundaries as "from Norwalk river to Sauhatuck river, from sea, Indian one day walk into the country". Thus a disputing source, and common tradition, describes Norwalk's name deriving from the northern boundary extending from the sea covering one day's "north walk" into the countryside. An additional source found this analysis to be improbable, given that the name "Norwalk" was used by natives, who were called the "Norwake Indians". Additionally a nearby river was known as the Norwake River when the area was first colonized. Roger Ludlow's 1640 land purchase was from "the Indians of Norwalke" and the land is described as lying between "the twoe rivers, the one called the Norwalke, the other Soakatuck." The earliest town records list the city name as Norwalke (the "w" likely silent, as in Warwick). Bradley's [Connecticut] Register describes that the early Colony Records call it "Norrwake". Around 1847 the elderly used the ancient pronunciation "Norruck".
Norwalk has a nickname, "Oyster Town", due to its prominent oyster fisheries providing a large source of income to the city since the early 19th century. Norwalk Harbor's islands and proximity to New York City make it profitable for oyster harvesting. Discarded oyster shells along the Connecticut coast help prove the importance oysters had to pre-Columbian inhabitants of the area as well.
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