How to Choose an X-Ray Tech School near Salem Connecticut
Congrats regarding your career choice to enroll in an x-ray tech school near Salem CT in order to become a radiology technologist. And now that you have made a decision to go into the gratifying field of healthcare, just how do you go about choosing the right school and program to ensure that you will get the appropriate training to become a skilled professional? And since most states do mandate that x-ray techs become licensed, based on where you ultimately work you may require training to pass a licensing test. 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 technical schools or colleges that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they check tuition and usually gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while expense and location must be considered, there are other critical qualifiers as well. For instance, you need to ask whether or not the radiology tech schools are accredited, or if they sponsor internships. These questions and others you must ask the colleges you are evaluating are presented later in this post. But first, let’s talk about what a radiology tech does and the credentials and education options that are available.
X-Ray Technician Career Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technologists or technicians). They can also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the same principal job function, which is to utilize imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. A number of radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for treating cancer. Some elect to perform as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialization, such as mammography. They can work in Salem CT clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technologist may utilize 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 frequently analyze its functionality and safety. They are additionally required to keep complete records of each of their diagnostic procedures. As Salem CT health practitioners, they are held to a high professional standard and code of conduct.
X-Ray Technician Degrees Available
The primary prerequisite for enrolling in a radiology tech program is to have received a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the choice to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among technicians, normally takes 18 months to two years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor’s Degree will take more time at up to 4 years to complete and is more comprehensive in nature. Most students choose a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that are appropriate as well. One thing to consider is that Salem CT radiographer schools have a practical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can often be fulfilled by participating in an internship or externship program which a large number of colleges sponsor through local clinics and hospitals in their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you must comply with any licensing or certification requirements in Connecticut or the state you will be practicing in as applicable.
X-ray Technician Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an Radiologist school, based on the state where you will be practicing you might have to be licensed. Most states do mandate licensing, and their criteria differ so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam for the purpose of licensing, but many accept other alternatives for testing as well. A number of states also require certification as a component of the licensing procedure, otherwise it is optional. Having said that, many Salem CT employers prefer to hire radiology techs that are certified so it might improve your career options to become certified. ARRT’s certification program requires graduation from an accepted program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every 2 years, which may be fulfilled with 24 credits of continuing education, or by passing an exam.
Online Radiology Tech Colleges
As a component of every 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 earn your degree online, a significant amount of the training will be completed either in a school lab or in an externship off campus. Practical training is often conducted in area family practices, medical clinics or hospitals in sponsorship with the colleges. However the online segment of the training can be attended in the comfort of your Salem CT home. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree usually discover that the online style of education is much more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online schools are often more affordable than on-campus alternatives. In addition to reduced tuition, expenditures for commuting and study materials can be decreased also. But just confirm that the online school you enroll in is accredited (more on the benefits of accreditation later). So if you are motivated enough to learn with this less formalized style of training, then online classes may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Radiology Tech Schools
After you have chosen the kind of degree that you would like to obtain, you can initiate the process of looking for and assessing Salem CT x-ray technician schools. You will also have to determine if you want to attend classes online or drive to a nearby campus. If you opt for the latter, then obviously the location of the college will be critical. The price of tuition and ancillary expenses will be an important factor also. But along with cost and location, what else should you consider when comparing schools? Well, you should ask if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these important details prior to making your selection, we have compiled a list of questions that you must ask the schools you are looking at.
Are the Radiology Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of xray technician schools have earned some type of accreditation, whether national or regional. Nevertheless, it’s still crucial to verify that the school and program are accredited. Among the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Programs earning accreditation from the JRCERT have undergone a detailed review of their teachers and course materials. If the college is online it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance learning. All accrediting organizations should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. In addition to guaranteeing a superior education, accreditation will also help in acquiring financial assistance and student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for certification and licensing as required. And a number of Salem CT employers will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry level positions.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the Connecticut radiology technician colleges you are reviewing have associations with area clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the practical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Salem CT medical community and help with obtaining employment.
Is Job Placement Help provided? You will probably wish to hit the ground running after graduating, but finding that first job in a new field can be difficult without help. Ask if the radiographer schools you are assessing have job assistance programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are a good sign that the schools have sizable networks and great relationships with Salem CT healthcare employers. It also substantiates that their graduates are well regarded and sought after.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the school they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Salem CT home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble 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 decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Salem CT schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the x-ray technician program also.
Does the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the radiographer college you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in Salem CT, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Decide to Become an X-Ray Tech?When getting ready to interview for an X-Ray Tech job, it's helpful to consider questions you may be asked. Among the questions that interviewers often ask radiographer prospects is "What drove you to select radiography as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming an Xray technician, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to radiography, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must organize a number of strategies about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an outstanding X-Ray tech and the leading choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Select the Best Radiology Tech College near Salem CT
Enrolling in the ideal radiology technician degree program is an important first step toward launching a rewarding new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The suitable radiologic technologist must be in good physical shape. X-Ray techs regularly stand for the greater part of the workday and move and in some cases lift the patient to get the proper image. Candidates must also demonstrate a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to follow the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. X-Ray technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the doctors and radiologists. Possessing interpersonal skills is a must in order to have a good work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As has been discussed in this article, there are several questions that you need to ask each college you are assessing prior to making your final selection. This is just as true whether you enroll in an online school or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the right questions you can evaluate and compare each school so you can focus your options and make your decision. And with the proper training and your commitment to be successful, you can reach your goal to practice as a radiographer in Salem CT.
Some Background on Salem Connecticut
Salem is a town in New London County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 4,151 at the 2010 census.
The area was originally inhabited by the Mohegan people. The first settlement of European origin in present-day Salem (then part of the town of Montville) was deeded in 1664. In the early 18th century, more settlements appeared in what was then Colchester. During this time period, the area was called "Paugwonk". The small neighborhood around the Gardner Lake Firehouse on Route 354 is sometimes still referred to by that name.
Because of the remote location of these settlements and the considerable distance to churches, the people petitioned the Connecticut General Court for a new parish in 1725. It was named New Salem Parish, in honor of Colonel Samuel Browne, the largest landowner at the time, who was from Salem, Massachusetts. Recent archaeological evidence suggests that Colonel Browne owned slaves. The people of New Salem strongly supported the Patriot cause in the Revolution. Salem was the first town in the state of Connecticut to have a plantation, owned by the Browne family.
Salem was incorporated as a town in 1819 from lands of Colchester, Lyme, and Montville, with a population of approximately 1,200, nearly all of them farmers. The rocky and craggy land that constituted much of the town kept the population low and new settlement at a minimum. Salem has always been a crossroads town; the old Hartford and New London Turnpike (now Route 85) was a toll road, traveled frequently by legislators during the winters of the 19th century when the Connecticut River was impassable. The Turnpike provided stage coach service until the 1890s.
Salem became a well-known location upon the founding of Oramel Whittlesey's Music Vale Seminary in 1835. Students of the school not only learned music, but also provided self-sustenance through farming, as did most Salem households at the time. Pianos were manufactured up the Hartford and New London Turnpike about two miles (3 km) north from the seminary, at the present location of the firehouse and Maple Shade General Store. The seminary burned down and was rebuilt. However, when Whittlesey died in 1867, it was the beginning of the end for the school; when it burned down again shortly thereafter, it was never rebuilt. Today, all that remains of the seminary is a barn and a state historical marker.
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