How to Pick an X-Ray Tech Degree Program near Oakdale Connecticut
Congratulations on your decision to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Oakdale CT in order to learn to be a radiology technician. But now that you have chosen to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you go about picking the ideal school and program to ensure that you will receive the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And since the majority of states do require that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately practice you may need training to pass a licensing exam. So it’s imperative that you assess each of the schools you are considering so that you can compare each program. Most prospective students begin by looking for colleges or technical schools 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 should be considered, there are additional significant qualifications also. For example, you should ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they offer internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the schools you are evaluating are provided later in this post. But first, let’s talk about what a x-ray technician does and the degrees and training options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Career Description
There are several professional titles for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be referred to as radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiology technicians or radiographers. Regardless of the name, each has the same principal job function, 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. Some choose to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They may practice in Oakdale CT hospitals, clinics, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician might 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 frequently assess its functionality and safety. They are also required to retain complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Oakdale CT health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
Radiology Tech Degree Options
The basic requirement for attending an x-ray tech college is to have earned a high school diploma or GED. 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 technicians, generally requires 18 months to 2 years to complete depending on the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to complete and is more extensive in nature. The majority of students opt for a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are acceptable also. One thing to consider is that Oakdale CT radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can frequently be fulfilled by taking part in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges offer through local clinics and hospitals in their region. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must abide by any licensing or certification requirements in Connecticut or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
Radiographer Licensing and Certification
Once you have graduated from an Radiologist program, depending on the state where you will be employed you might need to be licensed. The majority of states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so check with your state. At present, all states that do require licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but several accept additional options for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as part of the licensing procedure, if not it is optional. However, many Oakdale CT employers would rather hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it might increase your career options to earn certification. ARRT’s certification program involves graduation from an accepted program as well as a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also demands re-certification every other year, which can be met with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Technician Classes
As a part of any degree program, x-ray tech colleges will have clinical 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 considerable amount of the training will be fulfilled either in a college lab or in an internship off campus. Practical training is typically performed in area hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. But the online section of the training can be accessed in the privacy of your Oakdale CT home. Students who keep working while earning their degree usually find that the online approach to learning is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are generally less expensive than on-campus alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for commuting and study materials may be reduced also. But just make sure that the online college you select is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less structured style of training, then an online degree may be the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Radiologic Tech Schools
After you have selected the type of degree that you want to obtain, you can begin the process of locating and evaluating Oakdale CT x-ray technician colleges. You will also need to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then naturally the location of the college will be important. The price of tuition and ancillary expenditures will be a determining variable as well. But in addition to cost and location, what more should you consider when comparing colleges? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they provide internship or externship programs. To help you uncover some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you should ask the programs you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Tech Schools Accredited? Most xray tech schools have acquired some type 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 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 undergone a detailed evaluation of their teachers and course materials. If the program is online it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. 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 assist in acquiring financial aid and student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And a number of Oakdale CT health facilities will only hire graduates of an accredited program for entry-level openings.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the Connecticut radiology tech colleges you are assessing have relationships with regional hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Oakdale CT health care community and assist with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Assistance offered? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduation, but finding that first job in a new field can be challenging without assistance. Find out if the radiographer schools you are considering have job assistance programs and what their placement rates are. High and rapid placement rates are an excellent sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Oakdale CT healthcare employers. It also corroborates that their graduates are well regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Oakdale CT residence. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear 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 need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the Oakdale CT colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the x-ray technician program as well.
Does the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the x-ray tech college you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in Oakdale CT, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Radiology Technician?When preparing to interview for an X-Ray Tech position, it's helpful to consider questions you may be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask radiographer candidates is "What drove you to choose radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being an X-Ray tech, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to radiography, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should prepare a number of strategies about how you want to answer them. Given that there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an excellent X-Ray tech and the ideal choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down several ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Enroll in the Right X-Ray Tech College near Oakdale CT
Selecting the appropriate x-ray technician school is a crucial first step toward initiating a rewarding new career furnishing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the working day and move and sometimes lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also show an ability to pay close attention to detail and to comply with the safety guidelines designed to protect both the medical team and the patient. Radiology techs work very closely with patients, other technicians as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a necessity in order to have a good work environment and deliver the best available patient care. As we have discussed in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each program you are looking at before making your ultimate decision. This is equally true whether you enroll in an online school or travel to classes on campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can analyze and compare each school so you can focus your choices before making your final choice. And with the proper training and your commitment to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiology tech in Oakdale CT.
Some Background on Oakdale Connecticut
Montville is a town in New London County, Connecticut in the United States. The population was 19,571 at the 2010 census.
The villages of Chesterfield, Mohegan, Oakdale, and Uncasville are located within the town; the latter two have their own ZIP Codes. Town residents often identify with these villages more than the Town of Montville as a whole, and the Mohegan Sun casino resort is nearby.
In the 17th century, when English settlers arrived, southeastern Connecticut was the scene of rivalry between the Pequot people, the dominant Native American group in the New London area, and the newly independent Mohegan. The latter became friendly to the English. For defense against the Pequot, the Mohegan sachem Uncas had established a fortified village on a promontory above the Thames River within what is now the town of Montville. The Mohegan village, now known as Fort Shantok, was protected on the inland side by palisades first built in about 1636 at the time of the Pequot War, rebuilt during wars with the Narragansett people circa 1653–1657, and rebuilt again at the time of King Philip's War (1675–1676).
When the boundaries of New London (then called "Pequot") were first defined in 1646, the Oxoboxo River formed the northern boundary. Parts of the modern town of Montville lying south of the river were included in New London, while the area north of the river was treated as Mohegan land. Over time the settlers assumed control of Mohegan lands. In 1703 the area between the Oxoboxo River and Norwich (now part of the town of Montville) was annexed by New London.
In 1786 Montville was separated from New London and incorporated as a separate Town. Before incorporation, it was known as the North Parish of New London. In 1819 the adjacent Town of Salem was formed from parts of the towns of Montville, Lyme, and Colchester.
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